One of the biggest challenges in running and growing your company can be networking. It is one of those fundamental activities involved throughout all the stages, but especially during the high growth starting days.
Who doesn’t have doubts and questions about talking to strangers and connecting? It can be nerve wracking, especially for those of us who are not natural extroverts, or are just averse to seeming pushy.
In this latest webinar, which can be seen on our YouTube channel (be sure to sign up for updates) we have our Director of Marketing at Early Growth Financial Service, Jason Kennedy discuss the best ways to go about networking with our special guest, Jessica T. Olmon.
Jessica is a Business Attorney and Mentor at Course Corrected a firm that works with entrepreneurs to create businesses that serve them financially with a lifestyle they love. The two of them discuss the finer points around making networking an enjoyable experience, getting the most out of it, and building valuable relationships while doing so.
What is networking really?
Jason: It’s really building out connections outside of that inner circle, the friends the family the colleagues that you’re comfortable with, speaking with, hanging out with, meeting with on a regular basis.
It’s creating that second level of connections.
Jessica: A lot of people think of networking as sleazy guys at a meeting shaking everybody’s hand and kind of working the crowd and just trying to get something for himself. Alternatively, it may be an uncomfortable thing for people to think of going and just meeting people you’ve never set eyes on before. Putting yourself out there.
I like to have a completely different mindset about networking. I like to think of networking as a way that I can go out into the world and help other people in business in ways that I personally can offer those people that I want to help.
Jason: The big benefit is ultimately exposure to new ideas, new opportunities. We’ve got a few different points here of what networking can really do for you as an entrepreneur. You are generating sales potential, job opportunities, referrals to new hires or service providers, or even really the big whale – investors. If you cultivate these connections correctly this can be a powerful tool.
Jessica: We all spend a lot of time and energy getting momentum in our business. In the beginning, it’s just getting the momentum going, and then as you pick up and get some, that’s getting more and more momentum to grow your company.
The stronger the network is, the easier it is to get this momentum going in your business, which we all know is a huge part of the energy and time and money that we put into our company.
Jessica: People that I love to meet with and I just get such a delight from are the ones who are being themselves. A lot of times they’re a little weird or a little outrageous or a little crazy or whatever but there’s just so much fun to be around.
I really try to go out and present myself as me, and letting people have glimpses into “Who” I am personally, and what I’m working on and what’s important to me in life. Just being myself, even if they’re things that aren’t typical for a business attorney or what I think would be acceptable and appropriate.
(03:11) What is networking really?
(04:15) Benefits of a strong network
(05:33) Getting in the networking mindset
(19:18) Networking to find investors
(32:35) Networking for sales
(42:50) Standing out from the crowd (meetings pre/post, staying in touch)