Leadership

Network Your Way To Success

Network Your Way To Success

Networking may come easier to some than others, but it is an essential way to build relationships for a long-term investment.  We live in a connected world, making networking an essential way to gain professional opportunities. People like to do business with people they know and trust. If you are curious about the preparations and expectations that come along with networking, here are four things to know.

Networking is Constant

Every person you meet could lead to a potential network opportunity. Networking never stops, so be ready to make a good impression. Be ready to interact with anyone at anytime. You never know who you may run into to network with, it could even happen at the grocery store.  

Relate

Actively engage in conversations - you’re searching for inspiration, knowledge, and advice in every person you meet. Find a topic of interest to help connect and build an even better, more relatable relationship.  It is easier to remember someone if that person is connected to something else, for example, with a similar interest. It is also important to remember good conversation comes from being a good listener.

Follow Up

It is important to understand the power of communication and relationships. It is difficult to have a relationship without communication. After meeting someone at a networking event, connect with him or her again. A good way to do this would be via email or through social media, like LinkedIn. Message them along with comment on posts to stay engaged and help continue to build the relationship. This will grow your networking database even more.

Tip: Gather business cards at network events so it is easier to connect with those your meet.

Meet People Through People

When meeting someone new, take the time to make a real connection. The person you meet has hundreds of other connections that may be relatable to you, and likewise. Ask contacts and people you meet, selectively, if they know anyone that may be able to help you. The goal of networking is to not only meet people but to tap into the network of the people you meet as well.

All the best!

Rebecca

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

 

Why College Students & Young Pros Need More Than Just a Resume

Why College Students & Young Pros Need More Than Just a Resume

Each new internship and job-hunting season is a learning experience for both sides of the table. The potential employer is learning what the current trends for resumes and cover letters are, as well as what is being taught to students. The students are learning to first dip their toes into the world of being a professional.

I’ve seen a fair share of resumes, portfolio pieces, cover letters – you name it! Each lands on various parts of the spectrum. If there’s one thing that sticks out to me when looking for a potential new hire, it’s a student with a business card!

Most students may not think they need a business card until later in their careers, but this is an important tool when looking to network and show off your professional side. It helps establish your brand as well as credibility.

"Once you’re in the professional world, you sort of make the assumption that people have a card--if you want to play in that world, you have to have the tools,” says Lindsey Pollak, career expert and author From College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World.

You may be asking yourself, “But what should my business card look like?”

Here are a few tips:

1. Keep it simple.
Include your basic contact information such as name, phone number, and email (recommended to use a personal email address not school-related one). Don’t go over-the-top by trying to squeeze your whole resume and qualifications on here.

2. Stand out.
This is an opportunity to show your creative side – if you want. Business cards range from plain to flashy. Find what works best for you and make it unique!

3. Make it count.
Take the time to create something you’re proud to distribute.

“Experts agree there is nothing more undesirable than a flimsy business card with ink that smears. There are many deals that offer business cards for free or at a highly-discounted price, but cheap cards make students look unprofessional,” according to Fox Business.

When you’ve created a business card to match your professional personality, use it confidently, and get ready to “wow” the next potential employer (or client) you encounter!

Cheers!

Are You Hitting Your Target?

Are You Hitting Your Target?

You have a business because of an idea. You want to see the idea continue to grow, so who are you directing your business strategies towards?

Knowing your target market is the difference between huge success within your business and a good idea without direction. If business owners cannot describe how their ideal consumer thinks, acts, looks, decides, eats, sleeps, and breathes, they have not done their homework and aren’t maximizing their potential success.

It may seem like a lot of work, but no one can afford to target everyone, so learning to target the right people at the right time is critical. As Inc. notes, “Targeting a specific market does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets.”

So, how exactly do you go about defining and delivering to your target market? Here are some helpful hints:

Do some internal reflection.

What are some things your business is doing really well at right now? Who seems to be engaging with the company and providing feedback? Are there areas where you feel need a little more attention? Knowing where you are versus where you want to be is a great first step in catalyzing change.

See what else is out there.

Checking out the competition, or just similar businesses, is a very effective way to compare and contrast. This allows you to evaluate your strengths compared to others, as well as brainstorm possible things to improve on or add to your business.

Define your unique characteristics.

What products or services do you offer? Try making a list of what your business specifically does. Then, think about who or what kind of person would need or want these services.

Making a list of specific demographics and psychographics that align with your business’ services makes it much easier to simplify your search for a target market. Some demographic factors include:

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Location

  • Education

  • Occupation

  • Income level

While some psychographic factors could be:

  • Interests/hobbies

  • Personality

  • Values

  • Lifestyle

The important piece to think about is understanding how your customers think. If you can do that, you will then understand how to successfully reach them to keep them coming back for more.

Reflect.

After you’ve gathered a well-thought out list of your target market, ask yourself if it’s realistic. Do you have a substantial number of people who are a good fit? Will they benefit from my services? Do I truly understand how to reach them?

Reach out!

Re-evaluating a huge part of your business such as the target market can seem a bit overwhelming and maybe even complicated. It’s not something to be done overnight – it takes time and strategy.

A. Victoria MAE specializes in business growth strategies such as marketing and public relations. We make it easy to help you define your sunshine and make your ideas happen. For more information and ways to define your target market, contact A. Victoria MAE today! #MakeIdeasHappen

Cheers!