One of the areas I struggle with is networking with others. I realize that this is holding back my business. Once I make a connection, I tend to do quite well; however, it is the initial contact that I struggle with. Any advice I can get on the subject, I try to devour. I was, therefore, glad to come upon this book by Dave Delaney called New Business Networking: How to Effectively Grow Your Business Network Using Online and Offline Methods. In this book, he shared countless ideas and strategies for business networking. If this is an area that also challenges you, I would definitely recommend this book.
As usual, I was so happy with the Kindle version of this book that I also picked up a printed version of the book. I did this because of the number of tips I found throughout the book. I wanted an easy research reference guide by my side.
New Business Networking is 240 pages long and is spread across 13 chapters. Here’s a list of the chapters for this book:
- Do your homework
- It starts with a coffee
- Your home on the web needs more than welcome mat
- Grow your network before you need it: LinkedIn
- Build the network, 140 characters at a time: Twitter
- One billion people can’t be wrong: Facebook
- Still growing and one to watch: Google+
- Content is the glue that binds us together
- If you build it, they will come: organizing events
- Listen better. Remember more
- Business cards that rock and when to use them
- We live and die by our database
- Strong relationships lead to success
Delaney used his personal story and stories of others to bind this book together and to give it context. He talked about his move from Toronto to Tennessee and how he managed to get established in the new state.
One of the things Delaney emphasized in New Business Networking is the importance of having an online social presence balanced with a face-to-face presence. He seemed to drink a lot of coffee.
Throughout the book, Delaney also stressed the importance of research and maintaining a log. He provided an example of a spreadsheet he used to track information about people that he intended to contact. Unfortunately, the link to the spreadsheet no longer works. As he conducted social research on individuals, he logged his insights on the spreadsheet. He used this information to help nurture connections with the individuals.
Delaney has been gracious enough to share many different sites and organizations that you can research to find networking opportunities. These groups may be your local Chamber of Commerce, a trade publication, or conferences—lots of different opportunities.
New Business Networking outlined in great detail about how to find someone, find out about that person, and work on establishing a connection. It is a sleuth’s handbook.
Delaney shared ideas for cold calling an individual to arrange a meeting. He provided advice for what to do before, during, and after the meeting to ensure you leave with a lasting positive impression.
When Delaney talked about building a website, he emphasized owning your own domain. He also shared ideas for creating a web presence when short of funds. Additionally, he emphasized the importance of blogging. Blogging allows you to spread your information and develop credibility. While talking about blogging, he gave suggestions on what you should write about as you connect with your primary audience. Naturally, he underscored the importance of using keywords and search engine optimization.
LinkedIn was another area he focused upon. Delaney discussed building a profile, promoting the profile, and making connections. Once again, he emphasized the importance of sharing content to help establish credibility.
Delaney also highlighted other key networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. He pointed out that the platform must fit your personality and be a place where your connections can be found. In each chapter, he provided countless tips for getting the best out of each platform.
In the chapter on content, Delaney stressed that we should be sharing as a way to gather connections. What you share depends in a larger part upon your profession. For some professions, you should be writing blog articles, and for other professions, you could share videos, photos, podcasts, or art. Delaney offered a number of different tools to consider for sharing. Some of these tools include Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, etc. He also talked about location-based programs such as Foursquare and Yelp.
Some of the other chapters that resonated with me focused on what may seem simple but were important to networking. They were on business cards and databases. When talking about business cards, Delaney noted the elements that you should include on them, their overall design, and suggestions for when you should give them out.
I also found the chapter “live and die by our database” to be especially important. It talked about building a client relation management (CRM) system, the importance of securing the database, and nurturing the database. Most importantly, Delaney shared ideas for putting the database to good use in a way to network and build connections with others.
Overall, this book was filled with great tips for networking and building networks. I will be working on implementing these tips over the next couple of months. As I mentioned earlier, I felt New Business Networking was very good informative read. So much so, that I purchased a paperback copy of the book. I think everyone in business can use these tips to improve their networking as they search for new Opportunities; therefore, I would recommend it.
If you get New Business Networking, please take a moment to share your impressions in the comments below.
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