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Networking: 3 Tips for Getting Back to the Basics
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Let’s get back to the basics and best practices of networking.  Here are my three tips for effective networking – the old fashioned way. 

First, you must be committed. You aren’t networking if you’re out for instant gratification.  An effective network is built upon a solid foundation of relationships that are built over time.  When you make a new business acquaintance, take time to learn as much about them as you possibly can.  Don’t look at them with dollar signs in your eyes.  Take time to get them talking by asking open ended questions and listening!  Are there common interests you share?  Do your children go to the same school?  Remember, people do business with people they like — with friends. 

Second on my list of best practices is to follow-up after the meeting and be the first to provide assistance.  Stacking business cards on your desk or scanning them into your Outlook doesn’t create a network.  Sending your new acquaintance a brochure or sales letter doesn’t develop a relationship.  And calling to set an appointment or make a sale is really not going to do the trick.  However, taking time to develop a relationship is. For example, let’s say I meet you at an event and during our conversation you mention you are a dog lover.  Guess what, so am I.  We have a nice conversation and you tell me you’d like to know more about creating a dog-friendly office environment.  So what do I do?  I go back to my office and send a “nice to meet you” email, but in addition I include a link to an article with advice for pet-friendly workplaces. 

Finally, give, give, give.  Be willing to put the other person first.  Find out how you can help them and follow through become the “go-to” person.  Then, when you need assistance, you’ll be rewarded abundantly.

There is no better asset – personally or professionally – than a strong network.

-Susan Wilson Solovic, guest blogger

Susan Solovic - CEO and Co-founder, It's Your Biz
Susan is CEO and co-founder of It's Your Biz and an award-winning entrepreneur and journalist, author of three best-selling books, a multimedia personality, contributor to ABC News and other outlets, a public speaker and an attorney. .
It's Your Biz | @SusanSolovic | Facebook | More from Susan

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Marketing: Seven Webpages Most Small Business Owners Forget to Add
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As you create or update your Website, make sure you have the right content that makes it easy for visitors to find everything they need. Below are some examples of pages to add that are often overlooked (or improperly done).

Media Room
Why it’s important – 80% of business is marketing and PR is a great way to get free publicity. The media room gives a journalist everything they need including your media history, sample articles, topics, high resolution photos, company news.

Why it’s overlooked – Small businesses often don’t realize the power of PR and how being mentioned in the media gives them credibility. You have a third party citing your expertise and you’re able to reach audiences you never would have otherwise.

How to create – You’d create it as you would any page, putting a link to it somewhere on the homepage. Check out my Media Room and use it as an example. http://www.PeggyDuncan.com/mediaroom.htm

News Room
Why it’s important – The News Room is where companies should post news about the company. You’ll write media releases and post them (whether you distribute them or not). Some items are not newsworthy and wouldn’t pique a journalist’s interests, but having the information on the Website will give you an opportunity to use your keywords in articles. This will help your site show up in search engines and may give journalists ideas for stories. Here is a link to mine. http://www.PeggyDuncan.com/pressreleases.htm

Why it’s overlooked and how to create – Same reasons given for the Media Room. more…

I'm a productivity and technology speaker, trainer, author, and consultant. I own The Digital Breakthroughs Institute in Atlanta GA.

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