There’s something that happens to a lot of people when they start an online business. They forget that businesses are built on relationships. In the pursuit of huge followings of people you may overlook the value in the power of the relationships you form. You have to build a business network that’s formed on solid relationships.
You may have thousands of followers and be ‘seen’ on social media but if nobody truly knows you then what’s the point? In the race for popularity many people forget that popularity does not necessarily equate to a banging bank account. Relationships do.
So how do you meet people and build a business network that’s actually worth something?
Well for starters, you start caring way less about what you can get and way more about what you can give.
If you’ve ever known somebody who seemed to drain you of all your energy and constantly take without giving anything in return then you know exactly why this is important.
When we’re desperate to grow our business sometimes we forget that people want to be seen and valued, not just used in our attempts to further our own careers. If you’re all about what you can get out of a relationship then you likely will end up getting nothing.
Spend more time caring about what you can give, what value you can provide to the lives of the business contacts you make and you’ll set yourself up for some solid business relationships.
You put yourself in unordinary situations.
If you always go to the same places, do the same things and hang around the same people then it’s unlikely that you’ll ever build a business network.
If you want to expand your network then you are going to have to become comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Start signing up for events, attend social gatherings and conferences where you can mix and mingle with other people in your field. I even met one of my business besties in a Lyft on the way to Valentine’s day dinner.
Strike up a conversation–you never know who you’ll meet.
You invite them into a relationship with you.
Just like you need to invite prospective clients into a relationship with you, you also need to invite business connections into a relationship with you. Sometimes people need a little nudge and instead of being the one that needs nudging, go ahead and put yourself out there.
Just this past weekend I asked for the contact information of a marketing pro I met while having drinks with friends. If you don’t seize the day and invite the person into a relationship with you, then you’ll never know what type of relationship you passed up.
You tap into the network of the new connections you’ve made.
One way to expand your network even larger is to communicate regularly with your existing business contacts and express your interest for further collaboration, networking and referrals.
People should know that you want to meet people.
Be upfront about your desire to expand your network and reach more people that you can build business relationships with.