Networking is the lifeblood of any growing business. If you’re not meeting people and building relationships, your brand could stagnate and fall flat.
But here’s a problem: many entrepreneurs think that authentic marketing through strategies like networking is not the easiest thing to do.
But what if I told you that there are ways you could make networking as easy as talking to a group of friends?
And what if I told you that it’s possible to build real connections with people and grow your brand without spending a single cent on marketing?
If you want to know how then, keep reading!
This article will touch on a few key points about why you should dive deep into networking and how you can use authentic marketing to grow your brand.
So let’s get started!
1. Networking is key to knowing your audience.
Many entrepreneurs believe that digital marketing through social media and other online platforms is all they need to succeed in this day and age.
But the truth is that most startups don’t have the time or resources to invest in these tactics. Besides, when you’re just starting your business, you don’t have a clear picture of your target audience just yet.
So, before you invest your time and money in digital marketing, ask yourself this first: how well do you know the person who you want to serve?
Could your current knowledge about your ideal customer be used to tailor the algorithm to them? Or, will you need more information?
If you’re still unsure about who your customers really are, I strongly recommend putting off digital marketing tactics for later. Instead, focus on building strong personal relationships with your audience through meaningful conversations.
2. Good content will get you leads, but…
Content marketing is one of the best ways to attract new clients – there’s no doubt about that.
But unfortunately, many small business owners are too quick to dive into content marketing without polishing the right and practical skill sets they must have to convert prospects and keep them.
Think about it: if you don’t know how to talk to people, how are you going to sell your services to them?
Instead of focusing on content marketing too early in your journey as an entrepreneur, spend some time honing your communication skills and all the other skills sets required to run a successful business.
3. How successful you are at networking depends on how you converse with potential clients.
Making that sales pitch at the beginning of a conversation with a new acquaintance can be tempting.
But remember: the goal isn’t to close deals then and there. The goal is to build long-term relationships with your prospective clients.
And the only way you can do that is to listen intently to what they have to say, so you can have a pulse on what they need and want.
So go ahead, and strike conversations with your prospects. Don’t worry about selling anything at first; instead, make sure to learn everything you can from each conversation.
4. Networking has been a reliable form of authentic marketing for decades.
Networking is probably one of the oldest forms of marketing in existence. And it works for a reason: people crave genuine experiences that are often hard to find online.
You may not realize it, but every time you connect with somebody new, you’re doing some form of networking or authentic marketing.
So when you approach your prospects with a genuine interest in learning more about their lives, you’re setting yourself apart from everyone else out there.
5. Authentic marketing will help you connect with people in more ways than one.
Networking allows us to connect with people we’re meant to serve, but that’s not all. Once it starts working to our advantage, its impact spreads like wildfire.
Soon enough, you’ll find yourself connecting with people in all kinds of different ways. The ones you connected with will connect you with other people who might need your services.
And this is where the real magic happens. You’ll soon discover that your brand is growing simply because you started connecting with people in a genuine way.
6. Networking and authentic marketing will help you build critical life and business skills.
Networking may be difficult, but it teaches us many lessons that we all could learn from. And these lessons include essential life skills such as building confidence and being more comfortable talking to people.
When you practice networking and connecting with people on a regular basis, you’ll eventually reach a point where you won’t even notice that you’re networking. You might even have fun doing it!
7. Networking can help establish you as an authority in your field.
People love being around experts who genuinely want to help others. And if you’ve built up a reputation for being knowledgeable by sharing valuable information, you’ll quickly gain credibility in your network and even beyond.
As your network grows, you’ll also start attracting opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise known existed. This is because people trust those who they know and respect.
8. A good elevator pitch will get you started with networking and authentic marketing.
A good elevator pitch is a powerful tool for getting your foot in the door with potential clients.
An elevator pitch is nothing fancy, though; it could just be a one-liner or simply a short but concise introduction of what you do and how you could help others.
But bear in mind that a good elevator pitch may have several versions, and the use depends on the situation.
For example, when you meet someone at a party, you may only need to share the informal version of your elevator pitch. A one-liner will usually do. But if you’re pitching a service to a CEO, you might want to craft a more formal one.
Here’s an example:
When I’m speaking with somebody who wants to run a business but doesn’t know where to start, I use this version of my elevator pitch:
Hi, I’m Corrie! I am an entrepreneurship coach, and I help aspiring entrepreneurs land their first paying clients.
But when I’m having a casual conversation with a bunch of people, I usually start with just “Hi, I’m Corrie!”
And if somebody asks what I do, I answer with: “I help people become entrepreneurs,” and leave it at that.
And if the people I’m with are interested in knowing more about what I do, only then I would explain further.
As you can see, there are many ways you can deliver your message. The key is to find out which works best for you and the people you’re conversing with.
So go ahead and experiment with different versions of your elevator pitch until you find a few that will resonate with your prospects.
9. Networking is not at all that hard.
I know what you’re thinking: the idea of connecting with strangers makes your knees go weak. But trust me when I say that networking shouldn’t be as scary as you think.
Because here’s the truth: networking doesn’t require an elaborate strategy. The best you can do is put a few things together, just be yourself, and learn from each experience.
If your approach works, then great! And if it doesn’t, then you will always have the opportunity to polish it up so you’ll do better next time around.
So even though networking seems intimidating at first, you don’t need to worry because you can always learn from experiences. Keep in mind that you must be willing to take risks and try new things.
Authentic marketing through networking may sound like a lot, but you’ll quickly realize that it’s actually quite simple if you get into it. All you need is a little bit of effort and some courage.
You’ll soon discover that networking isn’t as difficult as you think. You just need to be open to learning from other people’s experiences.
Ready for more?
This is one of three no-cost marketing strategies we teach our students in our program, the Validate Your Biz Blueprint.
In VYBB, over the course of 8 weeks we take you from not even having a business idea, to landing your first paying client without using websites, content or paid ads.
Click here to register for our free masterclass to learn more and see if it would be a good fit for you and your goals https://corrielo.com/freeclass