If you believe there is a get rich quick scheme or a magic process that gives immediate results, then don’t bother reading any further because if I had such an answer for you, I would be incredibly rich and way too busy to write this post.
When I first started my business, I joined every network that I thought would fit with my business plan. I quickly found out which ones worked for me and which ones didn’t. The key was to focus my time as quickly as possible on what was working and release the ones that weren’t. Then, I went all in.
When I say I went all in, that’s exactly what I mean. That meant that I did the following:
- attended every meeting possible
- never sat next to someone that I knew
- joined a committee and attended every committee meeting
- volunteered to take action items
- promoted the organization in social media
- invited other business owners to attend and join
- gave testimonials for the organization
- attended their national conference
- offered free coaching sessions to members
- provided a free 2 hour workshop
- attended a 4 day social outing
- purchased advertising on their website
- set up one-on-one meetings with people I met to connect further
- looked for opportunities to refer business or meaningful connections
- built relationships based on things other than business
I could go on, but you get the idea. There’s a difference between a Ponzi scheme built on getting a huge network underneath you and the long-term investment strategy where you make meaningful relationships with the people within your sphere of influence. You know it works in the financial realm, and it works in the business world as well. So don’t expect to get increased business by attending one or two networking lunches. It doesn’t work that way. You may make a few good contacts, but for long-term success you need to go all in and as Chuck Hawkins says Hustle Harder!