The Networker #10: Networking For ‘Anyone’ Means You’re Networking For No One
Let’s play a quick game.
Think of two people you know:
- An owner of an accountancy firm
Who came to mind quicker?
Which was easier to picture someone first?
For the sake of today’s edition, I’m hoping number 2.
The point is, the more specific, the easier it is to paint a picture of who you’re looking for.
Because when I ask someone at a networking event; “what kind of businesses do you work with?”
And the reply is “anyone”.
I cry a little bit inside.
Because they’re not helping themselves. And they’re not helping me.
It’s a common mistake I see made by networkers.
Coupled with a frequent challenge I hear from networkers that they’re not meeting the right people.
It’s time to do something about it.
It’s time to start meeting more of the right people.
To go from having a scattergun approach to networking.
To being laser focused.
Knowing who you are looking to meet. And helping others help you.
Why Is It Important?
1️⃣ It helps you be more targeted with your networking.
If you don’t know what your target is, how do you know where to network?
If by thinking you help anyone and everyone, you’ll end up trying to be everywhere.
At every event at the drop of a hat.
Fast becoming the dreaded ‘serial networker’.
By not knowing who you’re looking to meet, you’re networking blind.
2️⃣ It helps others know how to help you.
When you’ve defined who you work with, don’t keep it a secret. Share it with others.
Believe or not, others want to help you.
Good networkers get as much pleasure from connecting and making an introduction, as they do from being on the receiving end.
Make it easy for them by being specific.
Now, let’s narrow it down.
Defining Your Target Audience
I look at building your target audience from three buckets:
- Demographic – what do they look like?
- Geographic – where are they?
- Psychographic – how do they think?
I suggest taking 1-2 from this to not get too specific.
- Size of Company
- Age of Business
With the world of remote working, it’s become even easier to not only say you can work with anyone, but now anywhere!
Remember, being specific helps you and others.
Think town, city, county, or region here.
- How do they think?
- What are they looking to achieve?
- What problem do they have?
Let’s put this into practice.
Let’s say your company provides I.T services.
You could provide I.T services to anyone, anywhere.
Hmm difficult to know someone right away.
Here’s how we can narrow that down:
- I.T for Legal Firms
- I.T for Legal Firms, with 5-50 employees
- I.T for Legal Firms, with 5-50 employees, in London
- I.T for Legal Firms, with 5-50 employees, in London, who are looking to scale
Or you’re a marketing agency.
- Marketing for Financial Services
- Marketing for Financial Services, with less than 5 staff
- Marketing for Financial Services, with less than 5 staff, in the Midlands
- Marketing for Financial Services, with less than 5 staff, in the Midlands, who are time poor
A much clearer picture for you and for others.
Much easier than helping ‘anyone’.
And you can create yours using a simple formula.
Target Audience Formula:
[Your Sector] for [Demographic 1] with [Demographic 2] in [Geographic] who [Psychographic].
The Wrap Up
Now, when someone asks you who you’re looking to meet, you’re more specific.
And they’re better informed of how they could help and who they could connect you with.
Don’t worry about being too specific. Or think it will mean you miss potential opportunities that don’t fit those criteria.
The aim is to start meeting more of the right people.
Not everyone will be your ideal client. That’s a good thing.
Not everyone will want your product or service. That’s fine too.
Just look at Marmite.
As the American’s say; “there’s riches in the niches” (it doesn’t quite work how us Brits pronounce ‘niche’).
Go ahead and try it at your next event.
To help yourself and your fellow networkers.
Because if you’re networking for “anyone”, you’re networking for no one.
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The weekly newsletter for business owners and sales leaders to level up their networking.
1 networking tip, trend or tidbit – every Wednesday morning.
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