How to Maximise Your New Network Membership
Choosing the right network to join is undoubtedly a big decision, particularly when analysed correctly and thought of strategically. And often, when it comes to paying for the membership, it seems like a big deal…now don’t get me wrong, it is. But making that payment, when you think about it, it’s the easy part. You’ve probably Revoluted the money over or done a bank transfer. What did that take? A couple of minutes all in all?
But now what? How do you maximise your new network membership? That’s the real question. How do you ensure ROI and ROO? How do you ensure that all important return on investment and return on objectives?
This is where the real work starts. Networking equates to net+working. It does involve work. The reason I point out that choosing the right membership is a big decision and a strategic one, is that I hope you’ve worked out your schedule and how you are going to maximise and network with intention.
Here are my top tips for getting the most out of your membership:
1. Get Social
Follow all the social media channels, as appropriate and linked to the ones you are on. If there are multiple branches in the network, try to follow as many as you can. This allows you to follow what is happening, who is joining and get involved in conversations.
2. Get Linkedin!
I would break this down to the committee and the general membership – you don’t have to, but if you feel it could be overwhelming, then just break the task down. Get connected with them all. Tell them you are a new member and you are looking forward to getting to know them.
3. Reach Out
Organise a meeting with the Chair or President of the network/network branch or the membership officer and really dig down on how you can add value and receive value from the network. Often networks are nuanced, so it’s worth having a conversation to find out what is involved. This will help you plan better.
4. Power of One
I always advocate doing a 1-2-1s and suggest a minimum schedule of one per week. If you have an hour defaulted in your diary, as ‘connection time’, then you’ll organise other things around this time, so you keep it safe. A good time to do this is either before or after a networking event, as you are in the ‘zone’ already and it’s fresh. I block out time just for 1-2-1s on my Calendly link, so when I send the link out to people, they can choose what suits them and we get a firm time in the diary. It really does take the the hassle out of thing.
You can read more on how I use Calendly here.
5. Use the Logo(s)
Find out if there are member badges, i.e. digital icons to say you are a member of the network. They are often done by year, e.g. Member of X Network 2022 etc, so it’ll reflect your membership status. You might want to put this on your:
- business cards
- social media posts
- website for sure
- brochures & flyers
- pop up stands
There is no right answer here. It just depends on your profile, how your business works, so have a think about when you are designing up collateral for digital and print usage and ensure you include the logo.
6. Attend The Networking Events
This is crucial. Showing up consistently and regularly is so important. You could say that you and your business are only as fresh as your last networking meeting, so make it a part of your week to attend the meetings. Get them in the diary at the start of the month, so they become your framework. That way you won’t have to cram them in on top of a full diary and get stressed out about it.
7. Be Prepared
Plan what you are going to say about your business. Different networks have different structures and formats, e.g. some request a 60 second elevator pitch, others ask for an update – but in essence, be ready with what you would like people to know about you and your business that week or that month (depending on the frequency of the events).
Whatsapp – If the network has a whatsapp group, get involved, so you can keep abreast of new members, updates and events. It’s also where you offer support and guidance to fellow members and start adding value.
When you need help, ask for it. This is what your network and the community of friends that you are building, is there for. They’ll be so willing to help fellow members who need help, either directly or by way of introduction.
9. Give & Take
I see it in all networks, there are givers and takers. You want to firmly plant yourself on the side of the gives. It can take a bit of time to realise when someone is a taker. There’s always an ask for business, for support…but when you reflect, you don’t see and feel any give. Often people, particarly when starting to network, think they don’t have anything to give. This is simply untrue. As you network more, you’ll have more to give, sure, but at the beginning there is so much you can do to give.
10. Schedule Your Company Presentations
Formal and structured networks offer the opportunity to do a presentation on your business. Some last ten minutes and others are twenty minutes. Now let’s say you have 20 people in a group – that is going to afford you two opportunities a year to get a slot to showcase your company, value and desired clients. So what I say is, grab these opportunities. Get them scheduled in as early as possible. This is the time to introduce you and your company, preferred clients, case studies etc. When you come to your second presentation of the year, you’ll be able to focus on a brief recap and an outline of all the updates since your last presentation.
11. Get Involved in the Committee
A great way to understand and be involved in a network is to get on the committee. Why not ask if there is a role for you. This will help you get to know your fellow committee members better and to understand how to maximise your new network membership. And if you are naturally shy or introverted, having a role and position always makes life easier when faced with meeting lots of new people.
So what are you waiting for? Get cracking on maximising your new network membership! Refer back to this email each time you join a new network, so you have it as a check list to ensure you don’t miss out.
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Would you like to network strategically to work towards achieving your goals? Would you like to learn to network with intention for maximum influence and impact for your business or your career? Why not book an hour consultation with me? You can book and pay here.
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Getting Social with NetworkingJean
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