If you’re in the startup phase of your business you’ll understand that you can’t just sit there waiting for customers and clients to seek you out. A very small percentage will hit the jackpot and find a niche that spirals them into immediate success but sadly for the majority us we will need to seek out our customers and clients.
What can give you that competitive edge that sets you apart from your competitors? Connecting with people.
Now the only way to connect with people is to actively go out and do so. They’re not going to hunt you down and connect with you (unless you’re a rockstar)!
Here are some tips I’d like to share in terms of being your best brand ambassador and introducing yourself to the world so that everyone knows who you are and what you do. This of course will hopefully mean that the next time they think they need a service or product (like a birthday cake) you will pop up in their mind (cupcakes). Basically the more people that know who you are and what you do = more customers. If no one knows about you = no customers.
– Get yourself out there. Make it an effort to go out there and attend events, social gatherings to meet new people. Friday night drinks is a good start but alcohol is not always mandatory.
– Never be afraid to say Hello. Not going to lie, it can get awkward at times when you don’t know what to say so you resort to talking about the weather. But hey, why not? If it goes nowhere, it’s not going to kill you. But imagine you meet someone that will become a mentor, an investor, your best customer?
– Be yourself and be genuine. Don’t be someone that you’re not, no one cares if you have a Ferrari in your garage that you only drive on Sundays. You’re more likely to connect with people if you genuinely care about what you’re both talking about, so ask them questions and find some common ground
– Don’t sell yourself. We all can smell a car salesman from a mile away so please don’t go out with the only intention of selling your product/service. No one will want to know you. Go out with the intention of learning what other people do and connect with them. If they find your business interesting, they will ask you questions.
– Create a network of your own and match make. Being a good networker means that you can also help others connect. For example, if I know someone that is in need of a graphic designer, I look into my network of people I know to see if there is anyone suitable so that I can connect them.
This might seem like a dating tip guide of some sort and it’s probably not far off but I truly believe that if my business partner & I didn’t go out there and meet people, speak to customers and create connections with other business owners – we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are now in terms of business and personal growth.
Speaking of events and meeting people. The League of Extraordinary Women aka “The League” will be hosting a most exciting event on Friday 22nd June to screen Miss Representation which is a documentary that has won awards at film festivals and was also featured on Oprah in 2011.
The film explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.
We will also have a guest panel on the night that will discuss the film and what we can do to change society and media’s role in focusing on female beauty over brains. It is going to be a fantastic event, not only to learn how we can make a difference in championing women as future leaders and scrap out sexism. But it will be a great opportunity for you to meet people.
Purchase tickets here: http://missrepmelbourne-eorgf.eventbrite.com/
The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.” –Keith Ferrazzi
Sheryl Thai, Founder and Owner of Cupcake Central & Co-founder of League of Extraordinary Women