Last week I shared 8 easy-to-make networking mistakes that can be avoided and this week I dive into the first one:
I assumed I didn’t need to network because I believed that all of my clients would find me online.
Why spend all that time and effort to find and attend networking events when my ideal clients would find me online?
While it doesn’t immediately seem like it, there are two parts to this question.
The first part is that I genuinely believed that my ideal clients would find me online and I was deaf to any suggestion otherwise.
And my coach at the time handled my naivety quite well, she suggested that I attend networking events anyway. I trusted my coach, so I went.
I’d like to point out that this is something I did right – not only did I have a coach I trusted, but I listened to her even when I thought I was right.
While I made many mistakes, I would not be where I am now had I not started then.
The second part is more obvious. I felt it was a better use of my time to do more productive things. Sometimes the inside of my brain sounds like this:
There are THINGS! that need to be DONE! and done NOW!
Here’s a truth about being an entrepreneur: There are always things to do. Usually, it’s a matter of assigning priorities. Which I was doing, but looking back it was more about staying comfortable than anything else.
What it all boils down to is something that I didn’t realize at the time: meeting people in-person is very important and networking is a great way to do that.
Why is networking so important?
Have you heard of the know, like and trust factor? It means that people will buy from those they know, like and trust.
The easiest way to build know, like and trust is to meet people face to face.
Think about it. How well do you feel you know, like or trust someone after spending five minutes on their website? How about after talking with them face to face?
When you meet someone in-person, you get a feel for if you click or would work well together. While online, it’s much more difficult to tell in a short period of time.
I followed my current coach online for years before I bought anything from her. But the second time I saw her in person (at her 3-day event), I invested in her yearlong program.
What I did right:
With everything I did wrong, I did do something else right (in addition to having a coach).
And that was I kept going to networking events.
What you can learn from my experience:
- Go to networking events! After you meet someone, your website is a good place to point them to learn a bit more about you, but it’s NOT required. Those in-person meetings are much more important.
- There is no easier way to build know, like and trust then meeting someone in person.
- Doing something “wrong”, “incorrectly”, or “imperfectly” is great! It means you’re out there doing something and you’ll learn much more from trying than from not doing anything at all.
- Get a business coach. Coaches encourage you to stretch and do things that you didn’t think you were capable of.
Why is going to networking events important to you? Share in the comments below.