September 20, 2011

Tuesday Tip of the Day - Its Networking, Not Speed Dating for Business

I came across this wonderful website this morning and I don't even really remember how I found it.  Suppose it was likely one of those situations where one link leads to another and so on unti the Gods of fate stop you in your tracks with just the thing you've been looking for all along!

Since moving to Phoenix I've been considering ways to get out and meet people, specifically make some terrific business contacts that could be beneficial to helping me grow my finishing business here in the Northeast Valley and surrounding communities of Phoenix.

Yesterday I happened to run across a list of some seriously amazing Interior Designers in the area.  I must have spent three hours scouring websites, reading information and generally feeling out the designer's style to see if it would possibly be a good fit. 

Another talented group are the local people using the incredible site  With a calendar of events that shows pretty much ANYthing going on for networking opportunities in the Valley I had no choicebut to sign up!  I combed through the calendar and there's this fantastic women's networking group that meets every other week literally on the corner of my street!

But here's the secret...I'm so bad at networking!  I completely excel at sharing my business info and yapping on and on about my work when the environment is casual.  For instance I was at the dentist yesterday and while she was getting the tools together she and I struck up a super easy breezy conversation abotu my Faux. 

But put me in a room where I know the ultimate goal is to talk to as many people as I can about my company while tossing out elevator pitches, painting the picture of my (literal) paint with my words, hooking them in the first five seconds, getting them to follow me, call me, book me for a job...

Well, you can see how exhausting and intimidating that can be right?  Like the title suggests its like speed dating for business people.

But I figure the only way to get over the hurdle of figuring out how to do it more effectively is to just do it right?  So here's what I've done to network recently:
  • Joined 3 new teams on Etsy -- they are all local Arizona/Phoenix teams who like to schedule events here and there out in the real world.  Additionally these folks enjoy just promoting each other and sharing in the love for art in our local community.  Hooray!
  • Joined the community -- through joining this larger group I have already written to the organizer of a small women's business owner's networking group and hope to attend thier next get together.
  • Emailed about 4 local Interior Designers who's styles seemed to gel pretty well with mine to introduce myself as a Faux Finisher in the area and request to schedule a time when we could review each other's portfolios.
With slower paced classes coming in the next 20 weeks I feel like there is no better time than right now to start meeting new people and growing my business out here in the Valley of the Sun!

What have you done to network in the past few months?  Have you found a terrific group of people you love getting together with and sharing ideas?  Have any of you had to get over the fear of the business network meeting?

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