If you want to grow your business you’ll need to build relationships to do so. Christina Renzelli has had to learn to do that the hard way.
In her experience as a solopreneur she learned how to build genuine business relationships through networking–and it wasn’t by passing out business cards.
Press play to learn how to improve your networking skills.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- Christina’s story [1:22]
- How to create genuine relationships as a solopreneur [8:14]
- What solopreneurs need to avoid to become better networkers [9:50]
- The first steps of networking [14:44]
- What comes next [19:11]
- The money questions [23:21]
Always listen to the whispers
Christina Renzelli was a third-grade teacher who felt like she was stuck in Groundhog Day when she heard the whispers.
If you’ve listened to this podcast before, you’ll know that I am someone who doesn’t ignore the whispers.
At first, Christina ignored her whispers, but they grew stronger, until finally, after her mother passed, she realized that life is too short to spend time doing something you aren’t meant to be doing. She knew she needed more freedom and flexibility in her life but didn’t have the confidence to leave her job.
Although it took her a while, Christina finally struck out on her own. Achieving success as a solopreneur wasn’t an immediate road. She took plenty of detours on her way to coaching people how to start their own business.
Networking doesn’t come easy for everyone
When Christina first struck out on her own she had trouble with the networking component. Teachers don’t have to network to get students so it wasn’t a muscle she had exercised before. She quickly learned all the mistakes that solopreneurs make.
Many people try to avoid networking, are afraid to network, or don’t understand how. One common mistake new networkers make is trying to impress others rather than listening and developing relationships. People buy from those they trust and have a relationship with. Rather than trying to make a sale, build the relationship instead.
Networking is all about giving–not getting
Networking is a long-term business strategy. The web of connections you make is not a straight line. Rather than trying to make a sale right now, you are building relationships that will help you make sales down the road. You may even have people come back to you without even knowing where they came from.
You never know if that one person you meet will lead to a lifetime of business. They may not even be your client but could lead you to clients or help in some other way.
Steps for beginning networkers
The first step for a beginning networker is to meet people. Find an event or group to connect with. Then simply talk to them. You’re not passing out business cards, instead, you’re talking and listening to others. Ask questions and be curious about what they do.
When thinking of next steps, consider how you feel about the connection. If you feel a spark, follow up with them. Maybe message them to try and schedule a coffee, brunch, or a virtual meeting. Above all, trust your instinct. Building genuine connections should be fun. Listen in to hear Christina’s sound advice when it comes to building business relationships
Connect with Christina Renzelli
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