Author: Wael Badawy
7 Step Plan To Get Going With Networking
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, feel like you have the gift of gab or just don’t know how to make small talk, networking know-how is very important for your business success. There is a notion in business that I believe most of us subscribe to that says ìall things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those they know, like and trust.î And the key to this is obviously being able to develop relationships.
Think of networking as the cultivation of mutually beneficial, win-win relationships. In order to be win-win, there must be GIVE and take (notice the emphasis on give). Networking shouldn’t be viewed as ìeventsî where you go to sell your business. When effective networking is taking place, the parties involved actively share ideas, information, resources, etc.
Ok, so you know that you should be networking because it is one of the most cost-effective lead generation activities when used wisely, appropriately and professionally. But, maybe that seems easier said than done. Here’s a seven step plan to really get going with networking for your business.
1. Check out several groups to find the best chemistry and perceived value. Most groups will allow you to come and visit at least a couple of times before you have to join. Go and ask around to find out why others have joined and what value they get out of belonging.
Resist the urge to just go join the Chamber of Commerce simply because everyone tells you that’s what you need to do. If that’s not where your target group can be found, then you might just be wasting a considerable amount of time (and money).
I’m not telling you not to join the Chamber. Just be clear about what you’d like to get out of this or any other group. If it’s to find prospective clients or referral sources, then you need to be networking where those resources can be found.
2. When you find a group or two, join and go to all the meetings you can. Don’t go just once or twice expecting things to happen and then if they don’t quit. Building mutually beneficial, win-win relationships will take some time.
The contacts you make need to constantly see your face and hear your message. Continual contact with others over time will open up opportunities for you to go deeper and learn more about each others thoughts, ideas and capabilities in regards to your respective businesses.
Know, like, and trust generally only happens over time. Being regular and persistent will pay off.
3. Get involved – be visible. Do as much as you can to make yourself more visible within the organization. Volunteer to help with meetings, be on committees, or become a leader or board member.
Being involved does a couple of things for you and your business. First, you’ll get more opportunities to establish connections and get to know some of the contacts you’ve made even better. Secondly, the higher the visibility you have in the group, the less you’ll have to work to make new connections. Instead, as new people come into the group, they will likely seek you out because they view you as a leader within the organization.
4. Keep your circles of contacts informed. Don’t just assume that running in to someone once a month (or even once a week) will cause them to start doing business with you or sending it your way. You need to let them know what’s going on when you’re not at that particular group in order to inform and educate them.
Send them invitations to your events or open houses. Send them email or letters to share big news or success stories, especially anything of relevance to them or those in their networks of contacts. If you believe that you have valuable ideas, information and resources to share with others, then doesn’t this just make sense?
5. Work at GIVING referrals and sharing valuable information. That’s right, you need to be willing to GIVE before you get. That means you need to get to know other members and what makes a good prospect for them. What kinds of information might you have access to that could be useful to them?
You may initially think you don’t have much of value to share with others (besides your business and what you provide). Part of the key to getting good at giving is to not make assumptions. For example, don’t assume that some basic resource (e.g., a web site) that you’re aware of is familiar to someone you might be talking to just because they are the ìexpertî in that field. Be willing to ask if they know about the resource and ready to share if they don’t.
Want to get better at actually giving referrals? Here’s a simple question to ask someone you’re connecting with. ìHow am I going to know when I meet a really good prospect for you?î
Just the fact that you are willing to explore giving will elevate your know, like and trust factor.
6. Focus on Quality, not Quantity, Quantity, Quantity. It’s not necessarily about the number of connections you make, but about the quality of the ones you do make. Are they mutually beneficial, win-win relationships?
Quality connections will be identifiable because all involved parties will be actively sharing ideas, information, and resources. Yes, it is true that you need to spend some time and effort getting to know the other person(s) and what’s important to them. But, you also need to be clear and actively thinking about what information or resources you want and need.
Staying in touch with and following up with a smaller number of quality relationships will generally be much more productive than trying to follow up with a larger number of superficial contacts.
7. Be persistent, but be patient. The goal of a networking event shouldn’t necessarily be to come away with prospects every time you go out, but to come away with great connections. Networking usually takes time to get the relationships developed and nurtured.
Don’t approach networking as a scary proposition or a necessary evil for being in business. Take the pressure off yourself and really focus on how you might be able to connect with someone you meet. Focus on them first and look for ways to be useful to them. As you become known as a connector you’ll eventually be ready to reap what you sow.
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52 Niche list Ideas For Working At Home
Would you like to know the biggest secret recipe to making your online business a successful one? Come closer……….there is NONE!
But there does seem to be a set of ingredients that are key if you choose to be in the business of online marketing. Those include the following:
- Having a product that a group of people really want or need, is in demand and can be intensely beneficial to fill a void in the marketplace.
- A product that can not only sell well but also offers you the potential for residual income down the road. This allows you to to spend less time in your business and more time doing what you love.
- Finding a mentor or following someone who is doing what you’d like to do and learning from their success and mistakes. You’ll save time and money when you follow a general set of instructions (with your own uniqueness) and/or have accountability in some way.
- The ability to be resilient, flexible and be open to learning new skills. If you understand that there is no such thing as a quick rich scheme, and you are in it to build a real sustaining business, you’ve conquered half the battle.
Reasons for wanting to start a business are endless. Despite this desire, many people labor over the first stage once the novelty of the thought sets in. Brainstorming for ideas can be overwhelming and may stump you. But you are not alone. If you have an idea in mind, go for it! Then test and implement. If not, a little research and brainstorming goes a long way.
There are many factors that may scare you from launching a home business you love. So if you are one who gets cold feet, prepare yourself by researching your options.
Don’t know what niche to conquer?
Here’ s a list to get your creative juices flowing:
52 Niche list Ideas For Working At Home
- ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Weight loss or healthy eating
- Productivity specialist
- Childhood obesity
- Business coaching
- Content strategy
- Mind and brain training
- Pregnancy health and fitness
- Toy design for special needs children
- Independent book publishing consulting
- Special topic research
- Social media virtual assistant
- Social media services for local businesses
- Website security
- Disaster and preparedness
- Event planning, consulting and/or coordination
- Vintage sales
- Vintage styling
- DIY (do-it-yourself) instruction on various subjects
- Public speaking or public speaking training
- “New Parents” coaching
- Home safety
- Gift swapping or reselling
- Pet behaviorist
- Wellness for corporations
- Product reviewer
- Family interventionist
- College coaching for adults
- Online marketing consulting
- Spiritual integration coaching
- Personal finance for woman or retirees
- Test preparation
- Maternity styling
- Foreclosure management
- Dating or divorce coaching
- Body language expert
- Zen lifestyle for busy executives
- Classic car trading, promoter or appraising
- Eco-friendly or organic Parenting
- Bizarre collectables
- Contest organizing
- Emotional Intelligence training
- International or bizarre foods cooking
- Gaming tips
- Home organization
- Home organization for working parents
- Estate planning
- Health related (Diabetes, Sleep, Gluten) specialist
- Home office organization
- Singles events planning or coaching
- Voice over services
- Proofreading and editing for authors
It might benefit you to jump around with an open mind when you start to look into topics. Look into them, especially the ones you may not be familiar with so that it stimulates your brain further.
As you find ideas you like, list them on a spreadsheet and start to dig in further by finding other businesses online with similar themes. You”ll need to get used to doing research as an entrepreneur.
If you need some inspiration, place the list in an area where you can see it regularly to help you stay motivated in the process. You may start becoming more insightful when interacting with things around you which then tends to spark more ideas. The greatest thing about being in business is the opportunity for innovation which can be addicting and is at the heart of many serial entrepreneurs.
Finding Hot Online Niche Business Ideas
Once you’ve settled on a small list of potential small business ideas, go online and assess the following things:
- What current articles and blog posts can you find about your topic and what are the main themes. These will give you an indication on what’s hot in that market.
- Are there any forums related to your business idea? If not, there may not be enough people to drive sufficient sales or it may be an up and coming trend. If there are, search for what people are asking in those forums. If you are providing a solution to a hot question, you may have a hit.
- How many businesses online can you find in similar niches? What are there main income models? Are they selling a physical product? Digital product? Advertising? This will give you an idea on how to monetize your idea.
In entrepreneurship, you’ll learn very quickly that you’ll need to adapt, improvise and be creative. You’ll have the opportunity to not only create your own economy but to also contribute to the overall economy of your country and the world.
So if you need an invite to get your profitable online business idea rolling….you’re invited. Now go on and get it steppin’.
The World’s Largest Topic Idea List and Blog Niches
Starting to establish your Authority in a Niche, but don’t know where to begin? Start here!
Below is the most comprehensive list of topic ideas in the World. But the best blogs don’t focus on just one of these. They elegantly combine two or three of these topics to create a blog with an identity as unique as the writer him/herself.
If you need some help figuring out which one is right for you, read How to Choose the Perfect Authority.
Use these topics as a starting point – then put some of YOU into the idea.
Stir, pour, enjoy. Your future readers will, too. 😀
- Adult Education
- Brain & Learning
- Campus Life
- Colleges & Universities
- Education Reform
- Elementary Education
- Home Schooling
- Homework Help
- Special Education
- Animal Rights
Arts & Entertainment
- Creative Writing
- Performance Art
- Visual Arts
- Career & Jobs
- Home Business
- Human Resources
- Project Management
- Public Relations
- Small Business
- Photo Blog
- Video Blogging
- Hardware & Software
- Ethnic Crafts
- Fabric Arts
- Glass Arts
- Home Decorating
- Jewelry Making
- Kids Crafts
- Leather Work
- Paper Crafts
- Soap Making
- Environmental Education
- Global Warming
- Green Living
- Event Planning
- Recreational Events
- Web Events
Food & Drink
- Cake Decorating
- Healthy Eating
- Organic Cooking
- Addictions & Recovery
- Alternative Health
- Men’s Health
- Mental Health
- Personal Care
- Public Health
- Suicide Prevention
- Women’s Health
Home & Garden
- Interior Design
- Home Repair
- Kitchen & Bath
If you find more topics that are not covered here, please add them in the comment below.