Networking like sales cold calling is not everyone’s favorite thing to do. Believe it or not there are other ways to get to know people and gain valuable referrals. Our networking guru Colleen Clark calls it visibility networking and has 11 tips how to do it.
Let’s face it, face to face networking isn’t for everyone. Not everyone looooves meeting strangers by spending their precious evenings eating rubber chicken or getting up early to a sugar coated Danish with chipper extroverts passing out business cards before you’ve had your coffee.
So, what are my options you ask? Let me introduce you to Visibility Networking. Visibility networking is marketing yourself or your company, often without having to say a word or without leaving home.
First and foremost understand that to bring visibility to yourself you do have to be “out there.” Here are some ‘out there’s’ that could increase your visibility:
1. Widen your network of acquaintances. You never know who knows who, that you might benefit from knowing.
2. Befriend professors and guest speakers before or after they present.
3. Socialize with parents of your children’s friends.
4. Offer to emcee at general meetings, conferences, weddings and service club events. Register at a local Toastmasters to hone your speaking skills.
5. Attend association meetings totally outside your area of interest.
6. Send a press release to all media that you are available for quotes in your area of expertise.
7. Retie the old school ties – try classmates.com.
8. Send postcards to your contacts– to inform them about a new product you are representing or a service you offer and how it will benefit them.
9. Mail an article of interest to someone you met recently to show you were listening when they spoke to you.
10. Hold a social gathering where each invited guest must bring along someone you have never met before.
11. Attend university alumni events where there are alumnus from varied faculties and years.
The concept behind visibility networking is that it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you, and how well.