New Year Networking: Get Strategic
Updated: Jan 4
It's that time of year again: the awards evenings are in full swing, the festive gatherings have begun, and we're all reflecting on the year we've just had.
But as well as looking back at how 2019's gone, it's also the perfect time to start thinking about what you want from 2020!
There are two super busy times of the year when it comes to networking: Jan/Feb and Sept/Oct.
Jan/Feb because people come back after Christmas ready to take on the new year; full of enthusiasm (and new targets) they hit the floor running and go to as many events as they can possibly fit into their new diaries.
Sept/Oct is pretty much the same except it's when people come back from their summer holidays, realise there's only a few months left in the year, and try to get as much business squeezed in before jolly old St.Nic arrives again!
But going to all the events available could actually be doing you more harm than good.
It's easy to underestimate the costs incurred from networking activities. Event free to attend events come at a cost with travel, parking, and your most valuable commodity: your time! (I'll do another blog on what the actual costs of networking are so we'll come back to the maths.)
So when it comes to networking you want to be sure you're spending your time and money on events that are going to give you the best return on your investment. Remember, that return doesn't always have to be financial. There are lots of different reasons to go networking and it's up to you what you want to get out of it, but whatever your reason you need to be thinking about your ROI.
It's time to start thinking strategically.
In the same way you'd strategically plan your businesses PR, marketing and advertising activities for the year - networking should be just as strategic and given just as much thought.
When it comes to picking the most strategically appropriate events for you and your business here are some things to consider...
What do you want to get from going networking?
What are your products/services price points?
Who are your target markets?
What event formats do you enjoy?
Once you can answer all of the above, you'll be able to much more clearly determine which events you should be attending, and what you aim to get from them.
Consistency is key when it comes to building relationships through networking: going to every event in the calendar simply isn't sustainable. Be selective, chose events that compliment your goals, will surround you with your people who can be potential clients or have complimentary businesses, and go to events you enjoy! You won't stick at it if you don't have fun.
For help with creating your own networking strategy simply get in touch!
Or to learn how to create your own networking strategy, take a look at our 'How To Network Strategically' online course!