Your products are good. You know your industry. You know how to hustle and launch your ideas. You’re nearly there. But the game isn’t won yet.
No matter how strong an entrepreneur you are, you won’t scale your business to the level of its full potential until you fit one more piece into place – your personal network.
Why? “[New] contacts provide important referrals, information, and, often, developmental support such as coaching and mentoring,” according to Harvard Business Review. We’re talking about invaluable access that money – often – can’t buy.
Build your ‘know, like and trust’ equity
Today’s hyper-connected world requires a high level of “know, like and trust” equity. So, where should you start? Here’s a revealing look at practical tips to build your personal network with ease and smarts.
1. Show up
The best way to get to know new people is to learn what they do (with their spare time) and what they like. Technology helps you gain visibility and gather these details quickly. The Wavework App ensures that when you show up at an event, you’re connecting with the right people live.
Wavework shows you who’s checked-in at your event and lets you browse through the event attendee list in real-time. So, before you show up at a game, concert, gallery opening or community event, make sure you’re all tech-ed up with Wavework App.
2. Partner with key players
Every industry has well-known and rising stars. Like you, these folks are also trying to build relationships. So, instead of viewing industry peers as “the competition,” try collaborating. Reach out to influencers and give a helping hand to up-and-comers. The right partnerships raise your level of personal influence as you help others connect the dots.
But collaboration starts with sincere connections.
“The biggest challenge I faced networking at live events was trying to balance my time participating in the content/programming of the event and my time spent networking to maximize my meaningful connections,” Jessica Gaffney, founder of Wavework App, explains.
“Unfortunately, even if an attendee list is provided at an event, there is no way to match the names with faces to know who is around you at any given time and make the most of your networking opportunity.”
While you’re at a networking event, reaching out to the right people (i.e. connecting the dots) is often easier said than done. So, Jessica developed Wavework App to ensure business savvy individuals never miss that prime opportunity to engage.
Wavework’s live event networking technology gives users real-time access to the connection they need; thereby solving two major networking challenges: figuring out who to talk to, and ensuring the connections you make are valuable after you leave the event.
3. Talk about the other person’s interests
Shared interests bring people together. The fastest way to become the most interesting person in the room is to take an interest in others. Why struggle with small talk on subjects that others may not find interesting?
Mobile technology can bridge the “small talk” gap. For example, Wavework App offers live event networking with searchable profiles. You can scroll through the list of event attendees and message someone directly; providing a soft “intro” to someone you’d like to meet. Or you can like or comment on their in-app status update (i.e. easy access to a person’s interests and hobbies at your fingertips).
Studies show that just by listening to what they have to say (in person or via an app), and asking them to tell you more, can help you become more likable.
4. Practice personal charisma
Have you ever met someone with an indescribable magnetism that draws you closer? He was memorable … or she had a certain presence that was hard to pinpoint. We all have!
That “certain something” is all about charisma. If you don’t have it naturally, you can learn. “Charisma is what allows you to command a room, draws others to you, and convinces people of your ideas. It’s an essential part of being the kind of leader who wins devoted followers who are willing to go to the ends of the earth for you.”
Prioritize quality over quantity. Instead of chatting up everyone in the room, select a few people to engage with. Laugh. Smile. Be passionate. Be brave. Your dedicated attention makes others feel special and word of mouth travels fast.
5. Deliver legitimate value
Ultimately, you can do and say all of the right things, but without the core “value factor” all of your effort is for naught. Your personal network will ultimately intersect with your business.
When your business delivers legitimate value, consumers will become passionate about your brand,” Lisa Chu, owner of Black N Bianco Kids Apparel, explains. “Consumers need to see a good track record of your business consistently offering great products and service. Genuine customer reviews and testimonials can help build credibility and trust for your business.”
Together, these tactics point to a very clear pathway to build powerful alliances and maintaining a diverse mix of relationships. The key is to make a shift from being a passive observer to carefully expressing who you are by what you say, where you play and what you do.
When you become an active participant in the world around you and leverage the people-powered technology of Wavework – you’ll be amazed by the opportunities that unfold in life and business!