I spent yesterday at Lucy Whittington’s fab business celebrity event in Reading, and over lunch several of us were discussing the way we are networking for success… and in particular, who we network with.
Lucy is one of the experts inside my Social Expert Academy program and helps business owners to find their “thing” – the passion you have inside you that makes you totally unique, so you can achieve business celebrity status in your niche of one.
It’s powerful stuff, but during the conversation, I was reminded again of all the opportunities I have created in my business through networking online with people who are more successful than me… those I look up to.
Most of the work I do with my clients revolves around helping them to find and engage with their ideal prospects, so they can generate a consistent stream of sales and leads. After all, unless you’ve got paying clients, your business is merely a hobby.
However, many business owners spend lots of time networking with their peers, but when they start to look closely at their business goals, realise they aren’t really moving forwards or reaching the levels of success they desire.
They’re networking for clients… not networking for success!
Do you feel that way? Do you aspire to be like someone you know who is successful, but the gap between you feels massive… and you begin to believe you’re never going to attain an equal level of success?
While networking with your peers is great… you feel supported and there’s a good chance that many of your connections will become clients, you’re missing something;
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with!”
So, if you continuously hang around with people who are equally or less successful than you, you won’t grow beyond where you are now. You’re being held back by your network.
When I list out the people I have worked with, I am often met with a gobsmacked expression. How is it possible for me to get to work with so many successful people, let alone have them involved in my programs, recommending me to their clients, and endorsing my work?!
The answer is simple. I pushed myself “out there” and started networking with my business heroes online. I got to know them, they got to know me, we added value to each other’s businesses, and eventually in a lot of cases (but not all!) we met offline.
I rarely attend offline events unless I’m speaking from stage or involved in the event in some other way. In 2012, the sum total of offline events I attended where I was only a participant, excluding my mastermind group meetings, is four.
Yep, in the last 12 months, I have been at only 4 offline events as an attendee… on average, one event every 3 months!
But the four events I did attend were all run by successful business celebrities… all 4 of whom I had built a relationship online beforehand. At all 4 events, the business celebrity knew enough about me to refer to me from stage during the event.
So while I was in their rooms full of my ideal clients, my name was mentioned from stage by Joanna Martin, Nick James and Lucy Whittington. At the 4th event, again run by Nick James, not only did I get a mention from the front of the room, I was introduced to 3 of his friends (all business celebrities again) with an endorsement from him.
And if that wasn’t exciting enough, I occasionally receive texts from friends who are attending events that I’m not at, to tell me that I have just received an endorsement from stage… and I’m not even in the room!
Now, I’m not telling you all this to show off, but to help you to see that it’s WHO you network with – online or offline – that can have the biggest impact on your business.
When you’re deciding who to connect with, think about the people who are at the level of success above you right now… introduce yourself and become their friend.
Getting seen (and heard) at the right events, on the right threads, and in the right conversations can have a massive impact on the level of success you can achieve!
And… when you’ve built relationships with your favourite business celebrities, look around. Who are THEY networking with? Hanging out with people they respect could open up even more opportunities for you!
So while you’re planning your goals for 2013, I’d highly recommend you give some thought to the people you are networking with. Are they driving you forwards or keeping you stuck in the same place?
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For the opportunity to work with me and my favourite business celebrities (including Dr Joanna Martin, Nick James, Lucy Whittington, Leigh Ashton and MANY MORE) check out my Social Expert Academy program here.