It’s a New Year and the same you with a chance to develop your personal and business skills. If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to revitalize your networking strategy, let’s get started!

(If one of your New Year’s resolutions did not address your networking strategy, it’s not too late to add one!)

To develop your networking strategy, here are some of my favorite tips, tricks, & tools to make everyone a marketing expert!

  1. Know who you’re talking to. As with most things, it’s important to know your audience. Are you networking with potential clients, referral partners, contractors, or looking for a new job? Knowing who you’re in front of will help to guide your “pitch” and get you in the right frame of mind.

For help on perfecting your elevator speech, check out one of my past blogs.

  1. Understand how networking can help you to achieve your business goals. Now that you know who you are talking to, the next step is to clearly define what you are talking about. Let’s say you’ve decided to focus on developing referral partners. To do so effectively you’ll need to know what holes you are looking to fill in your own business. For example, you may manage marketing projects, but need to bring in another company when your client is in need of website design.

For more information about how to develop your referral partner pipeline with your networking strategy, click here.

  1. Pick the right platform to deliver your message. This is an important consideration; not only in terms of what makes sense to deliver your message, but what makes sense based on your personal style, mission, and overall imaging. For instance, video marketing is a growing trend, but if you are uncomfortable and awkward in front of the camera, you won’t see the results you want. Instead, maybe one of your team members is a born star. Or maybe your videos are more “B-roll” in nature with a voiceover. There are many options for networking, including online forums or social or industry-specific events. I would suggest incorporating a variety of opportunities into your networking strategy.

Read one of my past blogs to learn more about how to use social media as a networking tool.

  1. Timing is everything. Partially dictated by the how you’re delivering your networking message, the timing of your delivery is an important factor in your networking strategy. Arguably, there is a different feel to a breakfast time, industry-specific event, as opposed to an after work happy hour open to the public. In relation to your networking goals defined above, consider what type of event makes the most sense for the feel, flow, and appropriateness of conversation.

Are you attending the right networking events? Click here to find out.

  1.  Know your purpose. Don’t forget your why!! Remember, the tools and strategies you use are just pieces of the puzzle to help you deliver your message and achieve your networking, and ultimately, business goals. If you’ve lost sight of your purpose, or just need a little refresher, revisit your mission statement. Also, take time to review your quarterly or annual business goals. In the midst of your daily tasks, don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

For help on keeping your business identity in focus, check out these tips.

Ready to get started, but not quite sure where to begin? Give us a call at Piccolo Marketing at 615-348-7768 and we’ll help you to make sense of the connection between your business and networking goals.