There’s a famous quote by an unknown (my guess) woman, it’s not what you know but who you know. Lately I’ve discovered this to be entirely true. Sure, you need to know what you’re talking about for credibility but it’s the people you meet who help you deliver it to your target audience. Without networking, your business venture is at risk of becoming an underground cult following rather than a famous household brand name.
In my venture at Coco Rose Interiors, I’ve found networking takes many forms. Some are quite obvious like networking events but there are other ways that are very subtle, yet can be extremely effective with the right execution. Here are my top four tips for building a beautifully loyal and collaborative network.
It’s paramount in all forms of networking and absolute key to creating bonds within your network, but it is also a powerful tool to connect and establish your network. Just talking about your business regularly in day-to-day conversation can open up a world of opportunities. Even people I have been friends with for years and talk to on a weekly basis have provided invaluable resources from talking about my next project. I’ve been offered help with press releases, customs agents and government grants all by just having a chat or meeting up for a coffee!
A bottomless resource for willing people to help you resolve any issues you may be facing. I’ve got feedback for blogs, contacts for press releases, resolved integration issues with instagram shop, created a larger brand awareness and found out about other networking groups and events all through Facebook groups. I can’t stress enough how helpful these are!
This is probably the most apparent form of networking. I love going to these events as you’re surrounded by so many likeminded women with amazing stories to share. They’re a great night out, however if I’m honest, I find they can be very hit and miss. If you are after instant collaborations then you are better sticking to the Facebook groups. However, if you’re looking to build brand awareness and taking a longer term holistic approach to your networking strategies, then events a great added source!
If you want to expand your reach quickly, this is the way to go. As a handcrafted decor business we style rooms with our products and invite other like minded business to have their products styled in our photoshoots. All we ask is that we be given credit for the image. In return, we style professional photoshoots of our rooms and provide all edited images for the businesses involved to use on their websites and social media platforms. By doing this, our images and products are placed on many different platforms in front of established and engaged audiences that our brand has not yet reached. It’s an incredibly powerful way to build fast rapport with new followers and long lasting collaborative networks that are willing to help time after time.
I find the most important key to building successful networking relationships is to be honest, kind and have something of value to offer your network whether that be a skill, service or a product. Stay true to your brand voice, be purposeful in what you seek in return and always align yourself with other businesses that compliment your vision, not just because they have a large following.