If we are being honest, networking is often… terrible, and yet it is a critical component to success. But did you know there are ways to network more efficiently? Yes! It just takes a little planning. Before we dive in, consider whether you are networking with some forethought and a solid strategy in place, or do you just “wing it?”
Admittedly, most of us are squarely in the winging-it category! But as the world begins to re-open and the opportunity for in-person networking becomes a reality, it is time to uplevel your networking strategy and take advantage of this low-hanging success opportunity. Here are two easy changes you can make that will put even your most important networking tasks on autopilot.
Networking Tip 1: Outsource the Research
When it comes to networking, research is key! However, many of us do not have time to sift through articles, LinkedIn posts, and make introductions. So, the first step is to hire a VA who can find and connect you with potential JV partners, affiliates, guest interviews, and all the other marketing options at your disposal.
With a list of requirements at hand, he or she can spend an hour or two on Google and bring back a list of hundreds of people you can then reach out to. What would a list of 100, or even 10, new JV partners do for your business growth?
Networking Tip 2: Automate the Initial Connection
Do yourself a favor and stop reinventing the wheel! Save yourself some time by creating a script or email template to use when you first reach out to potential partners. Then, your VA can send this in an email or make a call on your behalf!
Having the script in place will accomplish two things:
- Save Time — You will not have to devote time thinking about what to say
- Gain Valuable Feedback & Increase Results — Just like you split test your emails, you can test your outreach process as well and tweak the script as you go.
Automate the follow-up: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, create an email or phone script to help speed the process. You or your VA (or your email autoresponder series) can send out a series of emails to follow up on that initial connection.
Automate your scheduling: Using a service such as TimeTrade or ScheduleOnce, you can easily set up your calendar with your preferred times for interviews, webinars and such. Give your JV partners links to book time with you, and the meetings will automatically appear on your calendar. No more endless back and forth to discuss potential meeting times, just a single click, and your partner can choose the time that works for both of you.
Here’s a hint though: be sure to use your calendar diligently, because if you don’t you run the risk of someone scheduling time with you when you already have another commitment.
Will it take a bit of work to get these systems in place? Sure. But once you do, you’ll find that attracting and working with JV partners, guest experts and others is much easier and more streamlined. Not only that, but with the time you save, you’ll be able to concentrate on creating new programs and services. Or maybe just hang out with the kids a bit. You deserve some time off.