The Value of Networking Before You Need To – Pt. 2
In August, the Association of Virtual Assistants is highlighting the value of networking on our monthly blog, podcast, and by bringing in guest expert, Robbie Samuels, to speak to our members. Here is our previous blog on The Value of Networking Before You Need To.
Recently, Robbie published an article The Dirty Business of Networking. The first question he asks is, Are you resisting networking because you feel like it’s dirty business? He goes on to explain that most people feel this way because the act of networking is transactional.
If you know there is value in networking, yet you are holding yourself back because it doesn’t feel right – even dirty – here are some tips for you.
Much like we hear and try to emulate relationship marketing, relationship networking is a real thing and Robbie provides several examples that virtual assistants can benefit from.
- Justify your networking behavior. If the only reason you ever network is to get a new client, then it’s likely you won’t enjoy the process. Constantly thinking of what someone else could do for you instead of entertaining the idea of you being of value to someone else does feel dirty and icky.
- Be spontaneous in networking. This means you are curious and aren’t approaching a conversation or interaction with an outcome in mind. Be curious about the exciting person you are about to meet. A story that could be shared to inspire you.
- Network with consistency. Because you never know when an opportunity will come knocking on your door you must be consistent. Also, many people have an unspoken rule that they won’t do business with someone who comes to a networking event only once. They want to see if you’re coming back and are committed to the group or just your own sales goals. Particularly when making a referral they want to know that the referral is reliable enough to associate their name with.
If you don’t know where to start, Robbie offers great advice, “Take some time to get clear on who you want to meet AND what you can offer them. Yes, even if you are just starting out your career, you can offer something of value to someone who is highly successful.”
The value is networking is not merely what you can take but what you can offer. The Association of Virtual Assistants believes you have a lot to offer even as a new VA.
When asked; How important is networking with other Virtual Assistants? Here are the responses we received.
- 51.1% – Very important
- 44.7% – Moderately Important
- 4.2% – Not important at all
The AVA makes it easy for VAs to network with little time and when it’s most convenient for our members. Networking with other VAs is particularly crucial when looking for clients and building your business. Who better than another VA to know where your clients are, who is looking for a VA, and get connected to clients outside of your circle? Being connected within three degrees can do wonders for your business!
Want to be valued as a VA? Join our waiting list to be notified when membership reopens and receive valuable information.