Building a professional network can be rough. It can feel even more daunting if you have to do it again in a new market. While there is lots of content out there about SEO, blogging, Facebook ads and more, those things will only get you so far if you do not work to build a strong network. But how do you start over from nothing?
First . . . let me tell you that this network you need to build. . . it ISN’T about you or your business. If you go into it thinking that it is then you have already failed! As a business owner it is easy to always worry about our business, our success, and our growth. But that mindset leads to other business owners that don’t know, like, or trust you.
Take the time to get to know those in your new community both on and offline. Attend networking events . . . as many as you can and not just within your industry.
Here are a few places to start:
- Local Tuesdays Together group
- Chamber of Commerce
Make a list of groups in your new area and now make a game plan!
Set your mind before attending any of these meetings to go in NOT TALKING about yourself! I know . . . it’s hard, especially if you are an extrovert—but don’t. Instead, ask people about themselves. Get to know them by asking questions that require more than a yes or no answer. Make a mental note of what you talked about and file it away for later. Do they have a parent that is sick, kid that is starting school for the first time, or a dog they are crazy about?
After the networking event, follow up with them and set a time for a coffee date or chat over cocktails.
Want more information on what to do from here? Sign up for our upcoming webinar about building your professional network in a new area.
Meredith Ryncarz is a former college art professor turned photographer (Meredith Ryncarz Photography) and creative business coach (The Restart Specialist) in Savannah, Georgia. She is an Army wife and a momma to two crazy minions. She is obsessed with helping photographers develop a flexible and efficient business model that enables them to thrive in the market they are in or the market they want to be in. An INFJ with a pursuit for deep conversations held over a glass of whisky, Meredith can be found at the nearest hole in the wall restaurant with her kids and husband when she isn’t working.