Networking for entrepreneurs, the key to growth
When you decide to become independent and start a new business for your own, you will need some contacts to build your entrepreneurship. Is logical, the human being needs the social interaction to grow and develop, that’s where the networking comes into place because the relationships you make in the course of your life will be very important when establishing a brand, company or startup.
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Networking is the concept we used to define the relationships you make with people with your same interest of business in your area. There are many ways to create and contact this selected group but the most important thing is what you do face to face.
Social network research The first step is to do some research on the names, brands or companies which do you want to know and obtain strategic alliances with them. Forget that they are your competition; see them as possible allies that they can introduce you to that community or they can serve as a reference (even in what you should not do).
Use social networks, mainly LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook where there is a large community of brands and entrepreneurs who make contacts and publish information that may be useful for you. Identify them, follow them, leave a comment and show yourself interested in their publications. Make a real connection.
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Events for exchange** The second step is being aware of the events in your business area and other areas that can enhance your project. A few months ago, I went to an entrepreneurship tech camp where there was no other person with a project similar to mine. However, I took all the contacts cards that I could and identified who could help me later. Several of them felt interested in my project because I was the only one that offered that kind of service, so they then contacted me to make alliances in which we both won.
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Handle with your left hand these relationships, it means that take care of the people you just meet. Please,do not tell them all the secrets of your project. Create an ”elevator speech” where you can describe your service or product and how they can use it. But, stop, up there. It is not necessary that you tell them all about your life in the first conversation.
Also, do not just think about how to benefit from Networking. You must be empathetic and disinterested. At times, get away from your objective and think about how to help your new ally, without expecting anything in return. When you least expect it, you can be saved by one of this business partners.
Being part of the success of others is as rewarding as your own success. By helping others to realize their ideas, you will be building your portfolio of experiences and services.
Do not be shy
For all of us, it was difficult to start networking. Fear, grief, and shame are some of the feelings that add up to thoughts such as: How can I start? Who can care who I am or what is my product? Going or not going to this event?
It is normal but you do not let yourself be convinced of these fears. Be brave, be safe and go out and meet your potential clients or business partners. Remember that they started like you and know this way… So take advantage of it!