The first thing I learnt when I started in business coming up to 7 years ago is to go out networking. I didn’t even know what the word actually meant, so I googled it and found some events to visit. It was recommended to be to attend 2 events per week and follow up. So I did and I am so glad I followed that advice.
Almost 7 years on, I still go to my 2 events on average per week (although nowadays I tend to be speaker at 80% of the events I go to) and I still have a system for following up and nurturing my relationships long term.
Those that know me, know my story of publishing my first book after only having 2 paying clients and then building my coaching practice to be fully booked within 90 days of that book launching. The book was the catalyst and that is why I run Ultimate 48 Hour Author retreats nowadays four times per year in Australia and taking the business to the USA in May to do a tour or events and a retreat at the end of June.
What created the success with my book wasn’t the pure fact that now I was an overnight author, but the foundations and the friendships and business relationships I developed in the previous 12 months – networking twice a week and turning up time and time again so that people would get to know me, like me and trust me.
It is these people that were so impressed with me becoming a published author that then started referring me clients and asking me to speak at their business for their clients. It was those relationships and the book that made the business the success it became.
Nowadays even though I don’t need to network – I still do. I still love the fast tracked way face to face relationships progress to opportunities and business. Nothing beats the power of face to face. Yes it is time consuming and sometimes can feel like a waste of time, but the speed at which it can help you build your business (especially if you are starting out) is second to none.
I see way too many people spending 90% of their time behind the computer screen trying to build their business online. After months and years of not making any progress they scratch their heads asking themselves why things are not working.
I am a big believer of becoming famous offline before you get known and followed online. The fastest way to revenue is to front up – your true self in 3D and shake peoples hands and share a smile and some dialogue. That is why I will be going to the US this year to meet people and shake lots of hands. Those people that know you because they have physically met you are your biggest advocates and spokespeople for what you do.
I do believe business can be build purely online too – I know many successful marketers that do it and have done it, but if you are not techy and clear on your message, networking helps you get clear and test your pitch with real people. It was through pitching and noticing peoples reactions to what I was saying that I refined my niche and also got confident with public speaking.
Stop hiding behind your computer! Peak time (Mon-Fri 9-5) you should be talking to people having lunches, speaking to potential clients. Off peak times, deal with your admin, social media, online funnels set up and technology. After all you got into business because you wanted to escape the 9-5. Get the revenue to replace your 9-5 income and then start getting smarter to scale your business to new heights.
Work Hard – Play Hard!
Love Nat xx
P.S. If you want to join me at one of my half day Ultimate 48 Hour Author Blueprint for Business Success events in Australia go here. For the US – click on the appropriate city. LA, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix and New York.