Everyday you can read articles about how people network and find another job. You can find countless numbers of books and articles on how to create relationships to find jobs that might not otherwise be known. But what about people who don’t want to work?
I am not talking about a lazy person without any ambition. The person I am referring to is the unemployable, the serial entrepreneur or corporate refugee. If you are currently working in a job and what you want is not another job but to become a work at home entrepreneur networking can still be for you.
Here are 7 networking strategies you can use to catapult your work from home career.
1. Create your own Board of Directors. IBM and Microsoft are not the only ones who should have a boardroom team. As a home based business owner you want to have a group of people who you can meet with, mastermind and get advice from.
Often times they may see skills and talents in you that you might not recognize. Once you have identified what your business goal is you have the opportunity to leverage the power of six degrees of separation. Six degrees of separation is the principle that anyone on earth can be connected to another person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five relationships apart.
2. Join Networking Organizations for Entrepreneurs. Successful business owners like to connect with each and expand their relationships. Look for organizations that have business owners in the same area of interest as you. Don’t just see them as competitors. Look for opportunities that you might be able to assist them in some way. Here are a couple of groups to consider:
The Chamber of Commerce
BNI (Business Networking International
Each of these organizations have different personalities and cultures. Attend a few meetings before you call one of them home. Know what you ultimately want. Basil S. Walsh states, “If you don't know where you are going, how can you expect to get there?”
First establish in very specific detail what you are going to achieve. Did you notice that I said going to achieve? Life will give you exactly what you expect from it. Start with the end in mind.
Now is the time to dream big and visualize what your life will look like when you are a successful business owner. Don’t worry about the how. Simply set goals by asking yourself some key questions such as:
A. What would I love to do even if I did not get paid for it?
B. How many days will I work each week?
C. What type of work from home business am I interested in?
D. Where will I live?
E. What do I like to do?
Determine what you need to happen to get out your job. Do you know how much you need to make in your business to leave your job? What is your financial freedom number? Your financial freedom number is the amount of income you need to have coming in passively each month to cover all of your expenses.
One of the reasons you want to know this is when you are looking at home based business income opportunities you want to choose one that has the profit potential you want and need. If your financial freedom number is $5000.00 per month you don’t want to choose a business that does not have the potential to net that on a passive basis.
As you are networking and meeting new people you can analyze the business opportunities that arise from a totally unemotional point of view because you are clear about your goals.
3. Remember it is better to give then receive. One of the biggest problems I see with networking is most people go in it to see what they can get first before they give. Always look for a way to be of service to the people that you meet first. There is a universal law of reciprocity. You will always get back more than you give out. As you get to know people think about how you can help to enrich their life or help them towards their goals.
If you read an article or run across something that might be of help to them send it. When you have a genuine interest in others success you are blessed through your giving.
Some people call it karma and others say you reap what you sow. My life’s experiences have been blessed more than I could have every imagined whenever I give.
So look for ways to contribute. You may be able to do this in a variety of ways:
a. Volunteer to work with them some way.
b. Introduce them to people in your network that could help them.
c. Send notes or articles that might be areas of interest or
could help to increase their business.
4. Learn how to joint venture or strategically partnership. One of the fastest ways to get out of your job, launch a business or simply make some money is to create a joint venture with someone.
Joint Venturing is a way to take either yourself or two other people who could profit from working together but simply did not have the relationship. You profit from making the connection.
For example you know a veterinarian has a large practice with a list of over 700 clients. You also have a relationship with a new pet groomer in the city who is trying to increase his business. You put the two together and every time the pet groomer gets a new client due to your structuring this deal you get paid. We call this mail box money. Money comes in your mail box whether you work or not.
5. Set up a written networking plan. I am amazed at how much time and effort people will spend to find a new job. However, when it comes to designing a plan to exit the rat race they do it almost haphazardly. You will be much more effective if you have a written plan. The plan does not have to be elaborate. Here are some of the basic things you want to cover:
a. What is my goal?
b. Who do I want to meet?
c. What events should I focus on?
d. How often should I be networking?
6. Attend seminars and boot camp events. Specialized knowledge is one of the keys to being successful in a home based business. When you attend boot camps and seminars you able to surround yourself with like minded people as well as learn from the experts.
However, if you really want to make these educational experiences profitable do three things:
a. Introduce yourself to at least 3 people and get their cards. Ask them why they are there and what they hope to get out of the event. Exchange numbers and ask, “What is the single most important thing you need help in making your business venture successful?”
When you ask this of someone else you will genuinely get to know someone and you may be able to help them. In addition, out of respect they will want to know more about you and a new relationship may be formed.
b. Go to lunch with someone you meet at the seminar and tell them the things you learned so far and will implement. There is something about speaking your goal out loud that will make it real. If you immediately implement one single action every time you learn something the results will grow exponentially.
c. Introduce yourself to the speaker. Sometimes this can be difficult if the event is large. However, if there is a book signing buy their book so while they are signing it you can ask one question. My question is, “What is the single most important skill you contribute to your success?” You might like my question or you can come up with your own. The point is you have a great opportunity to network and learn from someone who is a master at their craft. Seize the opportunity.
7.Have a goal for every networking opportunity. Simply going to an event and "working the room" almost never yields any measurable results. Before you attend any event know what you want your outcome to be in advance. Are you going to meet specific person? How will you insure your introduction? Make sure you have crafted out a plan and enlist support from someone to help you execute if needed.
For example, if you want to meet someone ask the host of the networking event if they know the person and if they would be willing to introduce you. Your chances of success are almost guaranteed due to the nature of the event.
Networking is often an overlooked opportunity to find a way out of the rat race. If you want to look for a work at home career, connections can be a key to rapid success. Get the inside tips and discover 7 ways to network your way out of a job.