Networking; it’s the oxygen to your business.
Without oxygen, we can’t survive. (To state the obvious) Without networking, your business can’t survive either. As a solo-preneur it’s tough to balance this whilst having to work in the business, but there are quick and affordable hacks I can offer. Through the years of running my coworking space, I’ve picked up a few time saving tricks along the way that I’d love to share with you.
Allocate 30 mins per week to LinkedIn:
- Update your profile with your latest projects & work
- Reach out to former clients & colleagues for recommendations
- Always include a personalized note when requesting to connect
- Engage in discussions
Not the easiest when work & life is already so time consuming, but this is not something you should skip. Attending a talk, workshop or networking event once a month is a have to. Here’s what I’d recommend:
- Find your tribe. There are many events to pick from, so finding the best suited event to match your skill set, service and target market is key.
- Do your homework. Before and after events, make sure you connect with people you’ve met by reaching out on LinkedIn
- Get in, get out. Events can carry on & on, so if you’re pushed for time suggest meeting up that week or the next for a coffee to talk more.
When we first woe a client, it’s nothing short of roses and chocolates in the beginning. We do what’s necessary to get the business and sadly when we start working with these clients, somehow the romance is all but dead. Don’t let it happen. Finding new business is much harder and more expensive than making sure your current client feels valued. Surprise them by making them know how much you value their business.
- Check in regularly, but not irritatingly often
- Show sincere interest in their business by making sure you know what’s going on
- Share your clients’ social media posts on your network
This is perhaps the best thing you can do to grow your network. Joining a coworking space ensures you’re constantly meeting new contacts that may well become your next client. There are many other benefits too, but perhaps best left for another blog post. Here are my top tips when looking for a coworking space to join.
- Inspirational. Find a space that speaks to your values and inspires you to do your best work.
- Budget. Ensure you understand all the costs involved before joining.
- Flexibility. Don’t get tied down unnecessarily, so when opportunity knocks you can make the changes without fear of penalty
- Infrastructure. Make sure the things you need, i.e. fast reliable internet, 24/7 access, meeting rooms etc. are there & are well supported.
I hope you’ve found a few these tips helpful.
Have a great rest of your week!