A community of YOUR TYPE of people is like having your own cheer squad, back-up singers, counsellors, business coaches and so much more.
Being connected with like minded people who are sharing the same trials and tribulations as you, enables you to feel part of something bigger than just your business. It allows you to share in your successes and failures, learn from others around you and also contribute with your skills and expertise. A community is more about building relationships with people rather than just gathering as many contacts as you can. It is about connecting and collaborating.
Collaborating with other businesses lets you tap into different industries, providing an opportunity for you to learn as well as expand and reach greater audiences and connections. As the old saying goes, “It’s not about WHAT you know, it’s about WHO you know”.
BUT building your business network doesn’t just happen overnight and by itself. You need to actively be involved, participate and engage.
There are many ways you can actively grow your community/ network.
Social Media – These days, it is a MUST to be on social media. It’s where all the action happens and also where you can reach higher audiences/ customers/ clients etc. With saying that, you need to be ENGAGING on social media. Focus on three aspects that your business can provide to people – Education, Entertainment and Inspiration. Your audience wants to learn and feel something. When someone comments on your post, RESPOND, ask a question of them or thank them for commenting. You also need to spend a few minutes commenting and liking other business posts within your network. Remember, you are also a cheer leader!
We know it’s not your core business, but this is about community building.
Networking – we know, they can be awkward, often uncomfortable and if you get stuck with someone…. Arrrgghhh. So, you need to find the right networking group for you – there are many out there. The Kingston Collective runs networking events with the aim of taking the awkwardness out and replacing it with fun. Our events are hosted with direction, guidance and the opportunity to meet 80% of the people in the room. From the moment you walk in the room, we place you into a group with people you have something in common with.
The thing to remember about networking is, as much as you are there to tell people about your business and what you do, you are also there to source out clients you would like to work with which means actively listening to other people. Networking is two parts listening and one part talking!
Again, it’s not your core business but it is the BEST way to meet other business owners/ managers that you can connect with, build a relationship with, collaborate with and add to your business community.
COMMUNITY. CONNECT. COLLABORATEE.