BY: RACHEL WUMKES
People always say, “It’s not necessarily what you know, but who you know,” which rings true in many aspects of the business world. Whether you’re an entrepreneur fighting to find your place and grow your business, or an employee looking to expand your network as you look for the perfect job.
Networking is the key to it all.
Being seen, out and about in public, is a great way to not only increase the visibility of your business, but personally, as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at a networking function, randomly talking with someone, when I find out they have a connection which would be useful to me. It’s like striking gold!
According to Google, networking will help you improve your skill set, stay on top of the latest trends, keep a pulse on the job market, meet prospective mentors, partners and client, and gain access to the necessary resources to foster your career development.
Living in a small town in North Iowa, one may think it’s not important or needed, but I assure you, it is one of the highest necessities.
Career Alley has compiled a list of 7 tips for how to better network in a small town.
- Use Social Media
- I’m not sure how we survived before this became a thing. Making your event public, engaging in quality content and being consistent is key to getting the most bang for your buck out of social media.
- Don’t rely on Social Media alone
- This is good advice. Not everyone is glued to their phone or ipad all day long like some folks. Be sure to utilize other avenues to increase awareness and visibility.
- Talk is Cheap – positively!
- The most efficient and cost effective tool is YOU. Getting out and talking to people. Don't be shy... put yourself out there and make those key contacts.
- Join Your Local Chamber
- Well, I’ll be. What a novel concept! I think this one might be my favorite! And I can guarantee your local Chamber will do everything we can to help your grow and prosper!
- Become a Flyer on the Wall – literally
- In big cities, flyers get lost in the shuffle. In a smaller town, people are more apt to peruse the wall of flyers at their local coffee shop, etc. to see what’s happening.
- Free Services Attract New Client
- So does becoming a sponsor. Name recognition is right up there with free stuff. Find an interesting event and become a sponsor.
- Do your thinking outside the Box
- Find ways to get involved in every aspect of the community. The more people you know, the more your business will thrive.
To put these skills to the ultimate test, be sure to come out to the Clear Lake Arts Centre on Thursday, December 12th from 4:30-6:30 for their holiday business after hours. Co-hosted with Hall Realty, it’s a networking event you won’t want to miss! Nosh on delicious snacks as you work the room, chatting up some of Clear Lake’s leading professionals!