You aren't networking? Are you MAD!?
Confession Time - I am a serial networker!
I network at least 5 times a week and I am a member of BNI, Training Kings, 4Networking and Cherry Pick. In the past I have been a member of the Best Of Organisation and The Chamber of Commerce. I can honestly say that networking has changed my life for the better.
I meet lots of people on an almost daily basis that tell me that networking does not work for their business. I find that a lot of people are negative towards networking and would instead focus all their attention on spending money on other marketing strategies (most of which do not come close from a ROI point of view).
This post is for anyone who thinks networking will not work for their business. Maybe you have tried it and dismissed it. Maybe they have never been a networking meeting before (a networking virgin!). Maybe you had a bad experience. Either way this post is for you.
I should start by saying that within the entertainment industry there are very few people that actually network. I know of only 5 or 6 other magicians that network on a regular basis. Most magicians have one of two strategies when it comes to getting more work.
1. Sit back and wait for the phone to ring while watching netflix (after all that Yellow Pages advert has got to kick in at some point right?!)
2. Wait for an agent to generate the work for them (which still involves sitting round and watching netflix!)
When myself and my business partner decided we wanted to really take our business to the next level networking was the obvious choice. We decided that the best way to network would be to attend an expo and that is where all the business owners hang out!
We turned up and walked around for two hours not having a clue what we were doing. If anything we did our reputation more harm than good as we probably looked like two cast members of the walking dead and not the dynamic performers we were meant to be!
Luckily a gentleman called Doug D'Aubrey saw us and invited us to BNI (I am fairly sure to this day that he felt sorry for us). This man has since gone on to be our business consultant and I cannot say enough good things about him or his company 'ETC'. At the time I am pretty sure he couldn't have imagined in his wildest dreams we would go on to achieve any level of success or stick around a networking group for more than one week.
When I actually went to BNI for the first time I looked around the room and one thought jumped into my head