Wow, where has the first quarter gone?! Time seems to be flying by, but with just under 75% of the year to go, there is plenty of time to put your networking strategy into action. With that being said, now is the perfect time to take a step back and analyze how things have been going so far this year. Are you making progress toward your networking goals? Are you sticking to your networking plan? What changes can you make to build on your first quarter failures and success?

First, let’s….

  1. Take a step back. Before you do anything, look back at the networking and business goals you set at the beginning of the year. Where were you heading and are you still on the path to get there? If not, how can you get back on track? It may also be possible that your goals have shifted or you need to set a new one. Whatever the case may be, take a minute to redefine your bigger picture goals.
  2. Perfect your elevator speech. Based on what you decided above, you may need to adjust your elevator speech. Remember, you may (and likely should) have several renditions depending on the type of event and who your audience is. In addition to making sure your elevator speech lines up with your goals, revamp your story with any changes, successes, or motivations you’ve picked up along the way this year.
  3. Update your networking materials. Take a look at your handouts and business cards – is everything up to date? Don’t forget to include your online materials, website, or social media platforms in this step; they are a huge networking tool!
  4. Get out your calendar. What events do you have coming up? Have you blocked your time accordingly to allow for lead development, contact follow-up, and meetings? I would recommend at least 2 hours per week for this activity. If you don’t build it into your schedule, it won’t happen!
  5. Try something new! There are so many networking opportunities out there, so re-energize your schedule by trying something new! You can (informally) network at a local community fundraising or work-bee event, participate in a fitness or running club, or participate in an online networking forum. Get creative and enjoy yourself!!

I know that networking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, But remember it is an integral part of your overall business strategy and the perfect avenue to promote and grow yourself and your business. Need help developing your networking strategy and incorporating it into your overall business plan? Give us a call at Piccolo Marketing at 615-348-7768 and/or join us at our next Nashville Locals event.