Beyond the Weekly Meeting
Weekly networking opportunities are essential to the success of our businesses (and they’re a nice excuse to get out of the office for an hour). The value networking has to your business is based on the amount of time you put into relationship building beyond the weekly meeting. So many wonderful things can come from the relationships we build; networking, referrals, industry insights and, if we are lucky, lifelong friendships. Often, time constraints keep us from making valuable connections with each other. We owe it to ourselves, and the networking communities we are a part of, to make an effort to know and understand each other on a more personal level. We all know the importance of the “one-on-one”, it’s a chance for us to build relationships that expand beyond the four walls of a weekly meeting. The time you spend in a "one-on-one" goes beyond business. The more you learn about one another both personally and professionally, the stronger the trust and understanding of each other's area of expertise and, the more likely you are to refer business to each other. At SRQ Exclusive we talk often about how we need to be “looking out for each other”. That is of course a foundational concept of networking, to create a community within a community that supports one another. Helping each other is something we should want to be doing. How can we take a few minutes each day to help promote one another? There are some easy ways to support each other and it doesn’t take much time either. The benefit and importance of taking advantage of the opportunities we have, both realized and potential, is to flourish not only in our individual businesses but as a community as well.
Specifically, what actions we can take to help each other succeed? In 2019 we are able to connect with each other in a multitude of ways on a variety of platforms. We have the chance to make a huge impact with the click of a button. Technology has made networking easier than ever and while I’m a firm believer that technology shouldn’t replace the weekly human touch, we can’t allow ourselves to miss out on the opportunities technology offers us.
Have you liked the business Facebook page of every member of your group?
Go ahead and do that, this isn’t the same as being friends with them on Facebook, this is their business page. It’s just one of the many ways we can help support one another online, the choices are endless and it’s a great way to connect creatively with one another!
Here’s a few things we can do help our colleagues online:
- Visit one another’s business Facebook page to add comments, like a post, or share some of their content. Doing these things offers exposure to a wider audience.
- Become connected on LinkedIn or another online networking community. You may find valuable contacts from each other.
- Download and share content from websites such as PDFs, Case Studies, Infographics, FAQs, etc. If your colleagues have taken the time to create and/or post something, then it’s important to them. Reading their content is a great way to stay current on trends and hone in on what others find important.
- Follow each other on Instagram if you have an account. Build organic growth for the both of you.
- Share public recognition. When our colleagues are being recognized for their achievements; nominated for awards, community involvement, scholarly endeavors, milestones, etc. sharing those posts and articles is a great way to give them another round applause.
- Write a Google/Yelp/etc review. Reviews matter! If you haven’t done business with someone, you can always write a character review.
- Invite one another to online communities. Facebook often comes to mind first with seemingly limitless professional communities based on location, education, niche markets, professional specialties, etc. A google search can also help you find additional online communities that can be of great benefit to you, and to your networking family.
We all have strengths and weaknesses. We should be sharing our strengths with others and asking for help in areas that we know could use some work. It’s nice to know that egos can be checked at the door and that we all treat each other with respect and professionalism. Take advantage of the mass amounts of experience that we surround ourselves with. Invite the wisdom, ideas, and suggestions of the person sitting next to you. Brainstorming and discussions can lead to insight you may not have thought about, even off the wall suggestions can spark a great new idea.
If we all make supporting others a part of our regular routine the exponential effects will be astoundingly positive. Try taking a few minutes 3 or 4 times a week to help share what you already know; that we are lucky to have the opportunity to know and work with together.