Networking In Your Industry

By Christina Suter on Feb 14, 2015 at 11:30 AM in Business Issues

Networking In Your Industry

A while back I had a client ask me a very good question:

How do you connect with people in your industry who are influencers?

It’s crucial to be able to network within your industry. In addition to using social media to network and garner brand recognition, you can also rub shoulders with industry influencers at parties and networking events. A great way to become seen as an influencer is to make a name for yourself. You do that by being related to the big names in your industry.

For me, I looked in my neighborhood for meetings in my geographic area because that area is easy to get to and I can become a known name and influencer in that area. I started in my immediate area, even though I work online and can reach people nationally. And soon after doing so, I knew my networking was paying off when someone at an event approached me because she was told by the person hosting the event, that I was a heavy hitter in the region.

When you are an influencer, you are known and in turn, people will come find you and consider you an expert. Most networking events are built for just that, networking. So, attend, introduce yourself, ask others to speak about themselves first, and they will, in turn ask about you. Ask people about trends in your industry and discuss them as well as other likes such as hobbies, or parenting.

I have established myself as an expert in my field by attending events, speaking at events, and by doing my weekly radio show, Ask Christina First. The radio not only helps add credibility to my work, but it forces me to stay current in my industry. Another great way to stay current and become an expert is to read 20 minutes a day about something happening in your industry.

When I started doing speeches, I didn’t have a list of things to talk about, but I made myself come up with a list, which wasn’t hard, because I’ve been in the industry for years. As long as you’re willing to talk about something, you’ll be considered an expert in your field. And when I established myself as an expert in my field, the business came to me. It’s worth becoming an expert in your field; every occupation and industry has a place for experts. Do things that are in your area of talent and then translate that to your website. If you’re a good writer, write for yourself and others, if you’re a stronger speaker, give speeches, and make videos.

How do you accelerate the growth of your company?

Monica Jansen suggests that people connect with the influencers in your industry using a few of the following:

1. Start small- connect with others who share your interest or expertise, and influential blogs in your industry.

2. Actively participate- the more you chime in, the more you make a name for yourself. Be willing to have an opinion, and contribute to the conversation.

3. Share- share your wisdom, share your expertise freely, and generously help others.

4. Ask-Use platforms like LinkedIn to ask for introductions from someone you know, of someone else.

For me, I met a man at my meeting, introduced myself, and attended his next meeting, where he introduced me at his meeting as an expert in the field.

Are you willing to be an expert in your field? Are you willing to be seen and heard, to share your opinion?
Are you willing to be a teacher?

When you network, as ou meet and speak with people, add value. When you’re introduced, offer something of value. "Would you like to guest blog?" "Would you like to speak at my meeting?" Or solve a problem you’re having. Add them to your network and do business with them.