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Monday, November 02, 2009

I don’t know about you but the word “networking” makes me want to cringe.  Without hesitation, I form an image that might be akin to speed dating.  I’m great in front of a large audience but don’t consider myself all that good at making small talk and meeting new people. So when someone recently asked me to attend a networking event, I said no.

I thought that was the end of it but it wasn’t.  Around the same time, a colleague of mine asked me to join him for lunch.  I told him about a new business I idea and he suggested that I reach out to his friend who had a lot of experience in this particular area and after our meal made an introduction via email.  One thing led to another and now I’m connected with a few people who are all helping me to develop this idea.  I’m confident that I can bring this new product to market faster and better than I could ever have done on my own.

Even though I thought networking was a waste of time, it happens.   And it happens in a variety of ways.  If you think networking is simply going into a crowded room and being uncomfortable for an hour or so, think again.  Networking is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs, marketers, and professionals who want to learn, grow, and contribute.

What is your networking plan?
To get ahead in your business, job or activities, consider putting together a networking plan.  It doesn’t have to be anything formal but you need to take action.  Research local meetings in your area, join a chamber of commerce, form a group of your own.  Regardless of the tact you take, get started.  It is amazing how things work when you set them in motion.  My goals for networking include:

  • Join the Chamber of Commerce (attend 1 meeting/month)
  • Make one new introduction per month
  • Hold one Internet marketing meeting per quarter (new members) 

By having a plan, albeit small, I’m creating momentum.  Over time, I believe that my network will increase as well as the resources I have available.  Success is easier if others can help you achieve your goals.  What’s great about our niche is that Internet marketers are always willing to help.  I’ve been astonished at the support and gratitude successful marketers have and their interest in helping other.


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