Marketing / Networking

Creating Meaningful Network Connections

What is your goal when you go networking? Everyone should have a goal. Some go in thinking how can I get people on my team to support my business. Or they’re looking to find someone in the room who wants to invest in my business. Those are good goals but they’re not necessarily long-term goals that can help you down the road to having meaningful networking connections.

Personally, I go into networking events as a way to uplift others around me. It has gotten me further in business than seeking out the coveted investor or that one amazing PR girl who tweeted she was going to be here. Six degrees of separation are no longer in the digital age we live in. What is great about this is you create the meaningful connections for yourself and for friends.

Who Are You Lifting Up

If I was in front of John Mackey, CEO of Wholefoods, I most definitely could rave about how much I love his store. However, this would be a brilliant time to mention my friend Lauren, owner of Stretch Recipes. She has more to benefit with getting a connection with Mackey than I. Not every person is meant to be your connection. It can be a way to help a friend, colleague, or even a social media buddy grow to new heights. Before you go to the next networking event. Think of 3 to 5 friends you would love to uplift if given a chance. Send them a quick text or email to see if they are working on new projects, if they have learned any new skills, or anything relevant that may help build a connection for them. I am the queen of connecting and helping others gain advantages.

Don’t Judge A Person By Their Clothes

In 2014, more and more business men are opting to wear a pull-over and designer jeans verses the well-tailored Prada suit. They own them but they are not always wearing them. I have seen it happen countless times where people undermind others based on what others are wearing. My dad will forever hate that I wear ripped jeans in public. However, I love my Zara jeans and muscle T-shirts {see picture below}. Some of my favorite billionaires and millionaires are very casual clothing people. The one connection you might need could be the guy in the Led Zeppelin tee and Rock Republic jeans sipping a Farmers 4 beer. Speak to everyone. One thing I admire about Bill Gates is he converses with everyone and addresses people by name. He is not above or better than anyone and neither are you.

Tasha owner of Imperfect Concepts

Connections For A Lifetime

Almost every other friday night i know of a group of entrepreneurs and startup people who get together. We have dinner and then go out to have drinks somewhere else. We don’t just connect at the event and leave it at that. During events, if I meet someone really cool I immediately begin to follow them on social media; tweeting them or sharing a photo of us at the event. Establishing a relationship offline and online is important. Most of the time, I am traveling to attend events so I plan coffee get-togethers or lunch but I try to remain in constant contact. Whether it’s asking what’s the next event they’re going too, telling them we should link up, or sending them invites to events I might not be able to attend but that they may be interested in. Too many times we meet people who are only momentary; not thinking about the life time of possibilities we could share together if we just took the time out to nourish a connection.

Handwritten Notes

If you know me, you know that I live for a good handwritten note. Sending thank-you cards and gift cards are some of my favorite things to do. I have talked before about how Sara Blakely, Warren Buffett, and now Angela Ahrendts & Daniel Lubetzky have written me back stating how much their cards meant to them. If you make a connection find out someones business address and send them a thank you card. It doesn’t have to be a big production. Showing your gratitude for a connection truly matters in a world where people are always looking for leverage over someone.

It’s all about creating meaningful connections in life not just your business. Go into events thinking about how you can lift another friend or business owner up.

How can you use these tips from above to help you grow your business and personal life? Are you Connecting, Networking and Following up correctly to help your business thrive?

Image by Dell

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Imperfect Concepts is the premier destination for the creative women business owners looking for how to guides, tips, motivation & inspiration.

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