Where do YOU Network?

At M Communications and M Com Publishing, I get asked a bunch where I network. Now, as much as I like the concept of working in my pajamas all day especially during the winter – that is not the case. And, the social interaction is great if your are a solopreneur. Here is my networking mix and it works:

1. Attend an event. This is in person people and not a webinar. Meaning get dressed to impress, stock up on business cards (pens are useful too) and go meet some new peeps. The key here is attending the right networking event. I could seriously network 24-7 with all of the events I get invited to, but you need to be a be a little picky if you actually want to get some billable work in. Find a group that is a fit, attend regularly and make a splash if you can (vendor table, speak, etc. etc.).

2. Social Media Magic. Yes, now it is pajama time. Pick one that works for you (Twitter, facebook – my favorite, or LinkedIn) and participate authentically. (Unless you can afford to hire a social media firm to put in the time to do this for you – then let them have at it). Authentic participation does not mean self-promoting 8 times a day (people will unfriend or block your news feed) and do not randomly respond to long discussion threads to promote yourself in a completely irrelevant conversation. People will alienate you.  Authentic participation = make an effort to get to know someone that you met in person at an event. Or, post what you are working on (just not all day). And, please don’t post the boring or mundane, like “I am mowing the lawn.” Obviously you are not mowing anything if you are posting this and what does this have to do with your business exactly?

2. Online contract work. Depending on your line of business, there are websites out there that offer contract work. Even if you have constructed a great proposal and the work does not pan out –  you still have networked with a new company and opportunity. For example, I spoke with someone who needed PR work for their company in New York, I happened to mention M Com Publishing and that conversation turned into, “I would like to introduce you to some celebrities who need publicity for their book.” Um. Yes, please.

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