Over the years in her career field, Kym has become an expert on networking and growing her business. We thought she would be a perfect fit to write for us and tell our readers what networking is, how to go about it and what benefits they could receive from it. Kym Brown is a financial professional with New York life insurance Company. She brings experience in customer service and relationship sustainability from years of being in the public and working one-on-one as well as in group settings. Her strengths with the company are goal setting and creating an obtainable plan while getting to know the individuals and creating a personable relationship. Networking, networking, networking… we are told in order to be successful networking is a must. But how? Why? What will it honestly do for us? These are great questions and some of the answers are not as easy as we think they would or should be. In the very social world we live in, there are a plethora of ways to network. The main forms of networking are online, in-person/social and business networking. Determining the best route to take sometimes takes a deeper thinking and more strategic planning then what we are accustomed to. Some questions to ask yourself are: -What type of market are you trying to network with? -Do You need to see somebody face-to-face or can you simply connect with them online? -Do we attend numerous events and groups or select a few? Consistency in networking is key. You cannot attend an event one time and expect to gain a client or buyer out of that one visit. Networking takes time. You need to establish yourself and prove that you are committed to the group and to its members. Become part of groups that you are genuinely interested in and others that you don’t know much about the topic, but feel you may gain some type of knowledge or solid relationships from. The goal of networking is building relationships with the end goal of growing your business or gaining new clients. If we sat home or in our office and expected business to come knocking on our door, we’d be waiting for a very…long…time. Business today is gained by trust, respect, and your ability to derive passion from your true purpose in what you want to accomplish. When you are passionate about what you do it is contagious and it’s hard to project that desire over email or Facebook. Not everyone is going to want your product or service, but staying in front of a consistent networking group and giving little tidbits of information overtime helps build a sense of curiosity as well as lays the foundation for a solid relationship based on honesty and integrity. Attending random or special networking events can also be effective. It all depends on your approach. Are you aggressive or passive? Neither one is going to be effective. An inviting and inquisitive approach is the best. Asking about the other person and their business and why they got into it is typically a great first approach. As in many other instances, being altruistic and showing interest in others is key to building these new relationships. Here is a short break down of three different types of networking to help you decide which is best for you and your business: Online Networking Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, even Pinterest can be great ways to network online. Meetup is also a great tool when looking for something of specific interest to you. There are several groups to choose from and some are very unique. LinkedIn is very business oriented if you are looking to make more professional connections whereas Facebook is a little more casual. Business Networking Business networking is when you are looking to create a partnership with another individual or business that enhances each other’s product or service. Collaboration and combined efforts can make marketing easier and a little less stressful on your wallet. In-Person Social Networking Networking events that are face to face are the most effective because you are the face of your company as are the other individuals attending. Your appearance and demeanor can create a long lasting, genuine relationship if done properly. So much can be said in such a short period of time to increase curiosity and excitement over what you are offering. Do you have any experience with networking? We would love to hear how it has impacted your personal or business growth!