Networking not working? Why You Might be Getting it Wrong

Business meeting
I’m a big fan of networking events. I think it’s good practice for anyone in business to get out and be seen. Meet people, introduce yourself, explain what you do. It’s nice to meet the other people who are working around you. And it’s useful.

But networking isn’t always useful. Networking can become a circuit of the same dudes in shiny suits – everyone selling, nobody buying.

The key to good networking is to attend events that your customers go to. Meeting other people in business is nice, and it’s always useful to have a solid network of connections – but nice networks and connections won’t pay the bills. You need to meet potential clients, not a bunch of people who want to sell you something.

So, who are your customers, and where do they hang out?

(Picture courtesy of llawliet via Flickr)

Useful lessons for freelancers – #10: Try everything

Try everything. You can’t predict where you will find work, or where work will find you. Explore your business world.

Try a little of everything and see what works. Fortune favours the brave.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #9: Volunteer Your Services

Volunteer your services. Better to be working for nothing than working at nothing. Most charities would love to hear from you. Help people. Make a difference. Do something wonderful.

And you don’t have to volunteer for charities – many small businesses struggle to exist. Help a friend or a friend’s friend to succeed in their new venture. Each bit of experience you collect has massive potential benefits:

  • CV enhancement
  • New contacts
  • Karma credits
  • Testimonials

So I recommend that you embrace any opportunity to get involved. Of course, be careful not to get a reputation as the person who does things for free.

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