Everything You Know About Networking Is Wrong, Here's Why.

The Red Rabbit Studio: Looking to Network, with you. Lego Styles.

Many of us assume that the idea of networking is going out into the world to meet new people who can potentially help our our ideas grow. Now, while that may be more or less an apt description of networking, it's not what makes networking effective. That description is only topical and misses the ways networking can actually serve us and lays out why Everything You Know About Networking Is Wrong.

Let me explain why.

Networking is certainly about meeting new people, but to make that network work for you is an entirely different beast, a beast with an appetite that needs to be fed.

Here is what YOU MUST DO in order to actually be 'networking'.

Care for your established network, no matter what.

This is so crucial that Im often surprised when people neglect their established network for something new. There are few rules that you will need to obsessively follow in order to make the most of your network.

> Stay In Contact.

When was the last time you called the people on your network to say hi or to ask about their business? Probably not much. That is a huge problem. People can easily feel neglected when 6 months or a year go by without so much as a word from you. This will kill any chance you had at service discounts, free work or even future partnerships. Why should someone help you when you clearly can't take a very small amount of time to see how someone is doing? No one wants to feel like they are being used. You must work to keep this feeling from creeping into your network, or don't be surprised when doors begin closing.

> Refer, Refer, Refer

This idea is simple: You should be spending time referring work to people in your network. Passing along contact info and even following up with that person to see if they made the effort to contact the person you referred to them. So many people forget this and lose out on one of most potent systems of growing your business. When someone knows you've referred a person to them, they will know you're a team player and will always be eager to help you. That's referrals works and effective networkers know this.

> Care, Because You Actually Do.

In the small business world, many of us depend on other small business to ensure survival. This idea can be compared to herd mentality. If a small business offers services to other small businesses, it equates to a live and die situation if those small businesses collapse. Do you see that?

Competition is healthy for a stable and growing economy, and will help your business reach new heights, but doing so in the face of your network collapsing is ridiculous. Do everything in your power to ensure the survival of your network, it will strengthen it, making it the perfect place to find support for your future ideas.

In conclusion: Networking = Maintenance + Care

Do these things make sense to you?

Those three concepts are what networking actually is and why we've all been doing it (mostly) wrong. It is surprisingly easy to meet new people, and if you've prepared yourself (that will be a future blog post, so stay tuned) then meeting new people will be easy, or at least not as stressful as it is made out to be. The real opportunity you have with networking is making that network a solid foundation for both your future and the future of your business and ideas.

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About The Author:

JP Hilton is the founder and creative mind behind The Red Rabbit Studio. After 10 years of entrepreneurship, ideas and small business building The Red Rabbit has established it's self at the forefront of for helping grow ideas from napkin to VC and beyond.

Contact The Red Rabbit Studio:
Vancouver, Canada
studio #: 1.778.786.1209

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Jason Hilton
The Red Rabbit Studio

Digital Marketing | Graphic Design | Growth Hacking