In the spring it will be the nine-year anniversary of starting my business, and it has me thinking about how far I’ve come. Like any other business, it’s taken time to get out of the red and into the black. Most businesses stay in the red for three years at least. The same can be said for networking and becoming known as a valuable service provider.
Many years ago, I decided to be as involved with networking as possible. At the same time, I kept my attention on a few main networks. In this way, I zoned in on the people I was building relationships with. Networking takes time and effort, and sticking to a few of them keeps that process simple and more effective in the long run.
The three primary platforms I benefit from are VA Networking, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Recently, a lot of people have been viewing my LinkedIn profile, recognizing me as a sought-after provider, and asking me more questions. The experience has been amazing!
Now that I can reflect on what’s brought me to this point, I can share my advice with you. Focus on your networking but keep it minimal at the same time. Don’t join so many that you spread yourself too thin and can’t truly concentrate on the individual people. You’re building connections, using personal attention. It’s better to be a great asset in a couple networks than be barely heard or known in many of them.
I’ve discussed in previous articles how vital it is to have an accountability partner. I connected with mine through VA Networking, and it’s a big reason I enjoy interacting there. That’s where my audience is. You need to be where your audience is. A web designer, or a manufacturer, wouldn’t benefit from VA Networking. They would need to find their own appropriate network. Don’t just go where everyone else goes. Facebook works well for many people, but I’ve never had much luck there. With Twitter, however, I’m starting to make more connections. Again, be sure the ones you choose relate to the purpose of your business.
It’s pretty cool when you realize you’re becoming known in your industry! Are you becoming known? What are you sought after for? Feel free to share your comments!