Here are 7 ways that you can leverage your network in order to grow your business:
1. Testimonials. Testimonials are so powerful because they come from someone else. Having testimonials from people in our network is a terrific way to establish creditability and trust. You can use them in many creative ways, on your website, social media and print material. If you ask a trusted colleague or client for a testimonial, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how happy they will be to supply them. The best format for testimonials are, in order, video, audio and then written.
2. Learning. We can learn from our network about areas that we are not experts in. I know I learn something every day from different blogs or groups I follow. When I’m stuck, I ask questions and they are more than willing to help out.
3. Assistance. If you stuck on some aspect in your business or you are looking for a key service or resource, ask your network who might be able to help you. Who would they recommend? They will be happy to help and be flattered that you thought to ask them.
4. Introduction. Is there is someone that you want to meet but you haven’t been able to make a direct connection? Have you thought of asking your network if they know the person or know someone who does? In today’s world, people are connected now more than ever; particularly if you are looking locally. People in your trusted network will be glad to facilitate an introduction.
5. Speaking Opportunities. One great way to grow your network and market is to speak to group meetings. Ask your network what local meeting they attend and if they can suggest any that might result in a speaking opportunity.
6. Referrals. One of the best ways to find new prospects is to ask. Does anyone know anyone who might be in need of your services? You can make this an informal request or you can create a formal affiliate program. I know I’m more likely to contact someone whose name I’ve been given from a trusted person in my own network.
7. Clients. Our networks are a wonderful source of clients. They already know, like and trust us. They can become clients when the time is right for them. We have to keep growing our relationships with them and inspire them. Not only can they become clients, but they can be great champions for our products and services.
How do you leverage your network? What additional ideas would you add?