7 Reasons Why You and Your Business Should be Opening Your Mouth and Talking.Fun facts
Now here’s the thing, how is anyone going to hear about your business if you never physically talk about it? Whilst I agree that the internet and Social Media are an amazing way to be heard (well you wouldn’t be reading this otherwise), there’s still a real need to talk face to face about your business. Here’s what I’m thinking.
- More exposure for you and your business.
Back in March I joined a networking group, 4Networking, founded by Brad Burton. I knew that if I wanted to grow my business that it would need to be a combination of online and offline activity and that this would be a fantastic opportunity to meet other business owners and connect, working on the know, like trust ethos and that people buy from people. Being out there and listening to other people and their needs would also enable me to grow my research for what people really want and what they would like to know.
By talking to others you can quickly gauge what they think of your product/service and their needs, perhaps identify new pain points you’d never thought of? Just by being present and engaging with others you can learn a wealth of knowledge. No show = No grow.
2. Offers the speaker the opportunity to provide insight into their business.
As part of 4Networking, members are offered the opportunity to speak around the UK at various venues (there are over 5000 + to choose from). The 4Sights (talks), offer you the possibility to speak about a subject of your choice. This isn’t the chance to give your biggest ever sales pitch, start making wonderful offers to attract huge sales and have everyone falling over you at the end for your latest amazing offer. No, this is the time to offer a valuable insight into your business and life, where you have come from, how you run your business, how you integrate family and business, how you have grown and plans for the future… these insights allow you as the speaker to engage with others, and share your experiences, and hpefully leave the audience with some useful points to take away.
Having given a 4Sight, this in turn brings you exposure. Think about it, at the meeting you have the undivided attention of the room whilst you give you talk. The room then gets to know, like and trust you during this time. It also shows you as an expert in your field. The audience go away and talk about what they have heard, how the have enjoyed it and help spread your story.
Often in business, people don’t know the full picture of how you arrived at where you are today. Some people offer tips on running business, like working with Social media, marketing tips, how running helps a business and many more. The talks that are really well received if people don’t’ know you are the “story “ talks. Everyone wants to know why and how someone has got to where they are in their business and life and what drives them to continue.
Many people have no idea how I came to be doing what I do so this is my opportunity to tell them how I got here and how I am moving forward.
Despite what you think, your story is always of interest to someone else, after all they don’t know it.
If you are nervous about giving the talk, just remember, they don’t know your script or what you want to say next.
Giving a talk and insight really does make you smile. Great photo, thanks Rich
3. Talking will show your personality and give people the opportunity to see you in a different light.
By talking to larger groups of people you are also able to show your personality, inject your own humour and style into the talk, let people know what you really love and how you use your personality to grow your business.
These insights into your personality aren’t easily seen or heard in online networking, this is why face to face is also so important.
As Brad Burton (Founder of 4Networking) said recently, “Social Media networking is the CV, face to face is the interview”.
By that he means that although we can successfully network online, to move things along (and sometimes a lot quicker than just online), go to meet people you have connected with in person at network meetings and build on the “interview” stage.
4. You never know who will be in the networking room.
If you’ve never been networking before you might be thinking to yourself, but I don’t need a new accountant, PA, social media expert, photographer, jewellery maker.
This is often the mistake those new to networking make. It’s not about you!
Seriously though, it’s not about what you want but what you can bring, and by being there and seeing who is in the room and helping connect others to the business’ they are looking for, you will automatically be adding to your connections. The people who you are helping find connections for will automatically want to help you find the right connections. After all, you don’t know who in the room has the connections to the richest man in the world wanting to establish a new glass blowing business and is looking for someone to run it for them, do you?? It’s all about being in the room and listening to others, and seeing where you can help.
I remember the first networking meeting I attended, someone asked me for a 1-2-1, an opportunity for me to sit and talk with them for 10 minutes and I said no, I didn’t see the bigger picture and just because I didn’t need their services, didn’t mean they couldn’t help me with what I was looking for or that they may have been a potential customer looking for a product from me. So there was my first lesson. Since then I have had several 1-2-1 talks with them and they have become a really good friend. So remember, always be willing to talk, who ever the person maybe, you never know what will come from just simply sitting down and talking.
5. It’s all about the connections.
However much I love social media and making new connections in places I have never been to and probably wouldn’t if I hadn’t met these people online, there is so much more to be gained from being in a room full of people and interacting face to face. After all, it is one of the basic human needs, to have connection and feel significant with other people and the desire to want to help them.
Believe it or not, there are people who prefer not to do their networking online and will only work face to face, in order to have a better understanding and form quicker connections with the other people in the room. Think about how much fun it is to network and meet new people. Even if you are an introvert and are terrified of meeting new people, there is still a place for you at these meetings and lots of techniques to help you through it all. (That’s a whole other blog right there!)
6. A quick way to improve confidence, stand up and Talk!
Now this may seem counter intuitive, especially for the introverts out there (that includes me) but this really is a great way to improve confidence and self belief quickly.
This was just my worst nightmare when I first agreed to give my talk at the beginning of October. Standing up in front of a room full of people to speak, all of them eyes on me! However nervous I felt, I told myself that this was in fact excitement, that the fear was False Evidence Appearing Real and that in fact everyone in the room had either felt the same or would feel the same when they were doing their talk.
Once I had flipped the story around in my head to something positive and looked at everything I would gain from talking, I soon felt calmer and although I was nervous the day before, when I actually gave my talk, it felt really good. It was an amazing experience and something I will never forget, however many more times I do the same kind of talk.
I was lucky enough to have Stella M Gooch offer to listen to my talk before I gave it and it really helped boost my confidence. She let me know that what I had said was perfect and would be well received, she also helped me tweak the title. I was so grateful that she spent this time helping me out and giving feedback from a listener’s point of view. Definitely a tip for those giving a talk for the first time. I can honestly say I am so glad I did it and can’t wait for the next time. Everyone was so enthusiastic and genuinely interested in everything I had to say, and being the only glass maker there also helped to show how much I know about my subject.
This was a massive confidence booster in terms of how much I actually know and showing how far I have come. Sometimes we get bogged down in what we want, we forget to look back and see just how much we have grown and how much we have achieved.
I had such good feedback from my talk that I have now 6 more talks booked in over the next couple of months! Who would ever have thought it? I certainly wouldn’t and would never have expected to enjoy it so much. I think the biggest compliment came when I was told that If I hadn’t said it was my first time , you would never have known! What a buzz that gave me and inspired me to want to do more. Thanks Mark for booking that 4Sight!
7. It’s really good fun.
Now you maybe thinking where’s the fun in networking with a load of business people?
What better way to build a business is there than connecting with like-minded people, who ultimately want the same as you. Since I started networking I have met some incredibly fantastic people, made genuine connections with so many and who I know without a doubt would help me in times of need and continue to help me grow in my business and personally. I have also made some incredibly close friends through networking, many of whom I have contact with daily. As they are in business too they completely understand the highs and lows of running a business, talking to someone who knows really does bring things quickly into perspective. It also helps that they network too.
I have loved networking so much that I have joined the team at 4N Tamworth Evening, held fortnightly at the SnowDome. If you want to know more about 4Networking I’d love to hear from you.
The meetings themselves, I can honestly say are never dull! Especially the local meeting where I am on a team. We love a good disco.
Team Tamworth Evening, Anthea, Carl, Emma and Tracey.
So if you are a fellow artist, crafter an Accountant, PA, Photographer, Spiritual Healer, NLP practitioner, Coach, Business Coach, VA, HR consultant, Printer or whatever your business and you are not networking and talking about your business have a chat with me. If you are thinking of attending a meeting but just can’t bring yourself to, then let me know, I can help you. If you are with in a couple of hours drive I’ll even attend your first meeting with you!
If you’d like to know more about networking and make more connections, please leave a comment or message me direct.
So come on then, whose turn is it to talk next? xx