Networking can create some powerful connections. But just what is networking? How does that work?
Networking wears many hats. In church you shake hands with everyone during the service, make eye contact and let that other person know you are paying attention to them in that moment. You’ve established a connection and you strengthen that connection each week. It’s simple enough, you are saying ‘Good Morning’ and smiling. This is a good way to practice networking — greet someone and smile.
In business, you find ways to talk to people. You attend seminars, coffees, book signings, conferences and the like. You join the Rotary, Kiwanis or Lions Club. You’ll receive an opportunity to answer ‘what do you do?’. You’ll shake a lot of hands and give out business cards. All of those things are part of your branding efforts — letting people know what you do. You have canned responses like “I sell insurance” or “I’m the Chamber Director”. These efforts are important, it’s always good to attend these events so people can start to recognize you.
But what if you stepped up your networking efforts? What if you went to these events, or went to social media places online, and started asking questions? Make the conversation about the other person. Questions like “Why did you choose that line of work?” or “How can I help you in your business?” It’s simple enough – much like the smile and good morning greeting, people like to be recognized.
Start building your contact list with information about your contacts. If someone tells you that they chose insurance because they like to help people, the next time someone mentions to you that they don’t know why they need insurance, refer them to that contact! Actually begin helping other people. Give them referrals. Get involved in the joy of helping others. Because it matters. Because it calls you to be a better person. Because it’s good karma.
Then find ways to work with your contacts. Step up the game a bit. Invite them to participate in something you are organizing. I’ll give you a great example. Michael Libbie is a contact of mine from Des Moines. He’s in marketing, advertising, promotions. We have worked together starting with the 140 Character Conference and have become friends. We chat online often, and on the phone every other month or so. Michael is very good at what he does. Michael believes in giving back. Because I’ve talked to Michael quite a bit I know he’s someone I can reach out to. We have an education seminar every month for our Chamber businesses and July is about online marketing. Of course I thought of Michael! He’s agreed to work with us and bring a five star luncheon seminar on July 10. All because two people networked!
Online marketing focus of July WC Chamber Educational Luncheon
Webster City, Iowa – The Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes Michael Libbie, owner of Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications from Des Moines, on July 10 as he presents an online marketing presentation titled “5 in 24”.
“We’ve all been to seminars where the presenter offers up lofty ideas that we’d like to do but it takes too much time and the minute we get back to the office we forget about it,” said Libbie. “’5 in 24’ offers five things a business can do/start in just 24 hours that will help expand their marketing footprint that will lead to better sales and revenue.”
Libbie assists his clients in the United States and Europe to better understand consumer trends and then create products and services that match the public demand by merging traditional and new media. “Our job is to not only be creative but to listen to consumers and the market place and then drive those consumers to our client’s product/service,” said Libbie.
In addition to his work with Insight, Michael is also host of Insight on Business – The News Hour powered by Webcast One Live. The show, which airs live each Monday morning at 8:45, focuses on advertising, marketing and consumer trends for business. Libbie also serves (and has for the past 26 years) the Mason City Jewish congregation of Adas Israel.
The educational luncheon will be held at the Kendall Young Library in the lower meeting room. Lunch and networking will begin at 11:30 am with the presentation to start around noon. Cost of the educational seminar is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for non-members.
Reservations will be accepted through Monday, July 8, and can be made by calling the Chamber Office at 515-832-2564.
(And we invite you to attend as well! Just give us a call to hold your reservation.)