Networking – You Just Have to Do It Yourself

Networking is a form of relationship marketing. It works because of relationships. This makes it very difficult to outsource networking. It ends up being something you pretty much HAVE to do yourself.

Larger companies often outsource networking. But when they do it successfully, they do it using someone who has an engaging personality – that PERSON becomes the company. It is still personal. They also often hire salespeople, and those salespeople network for their OWN benefit. They may represent the company as they do so, but if they leave that company, they take their networking power with them, and it transfers largely to the new company.

For small businesses, since the owner is their own best asset in creating a unique and memorable business distinction, networking is something you really must do for yourself.

People respond to networking because of personalities. So being yourself in networking is an asset. Sure, there are skills you can learn – listening, what kind of things to share, how to write intelligently (interesting, I almost misspelled that word!), and where to share. But your greatest power lies in your own personality – showing an appropriate sense of humor, sharing discouragements others can identify with, being excited over good things that happen, etc.

Networking becomes very much about who you know – your circle of acquaintances. People associate the business with the person whom they met. They either like, or do not like the business, because of the person they interact with.

Someone else just can’t do that for you. Because they are then networking for themselves, not you. If they leave, their power goes with them, and you have to start all over. You want to build that power for yourself.

Yes, it takes time, but it is time you MUST invest. Because when you do it right, networking is very powerful – and comes back to repay you over and over.

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