Author Networking Made Easy

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"The successful networkers I know, the ones
receiving tons of referrals and feeling truly happy
about themselves, continually put the other person's
needs ahead of their own."
Bob Burg

 

Networking Resources

You may groan, thinking I’m an author – what possible benefits could there be for me in networking? Or you may already be a fairly stellar networker, in which case, perhaps you have some thoughts of your own on the subject. Whatever your feelings on the activity of networking for authors, according to virtually every marketing expert, face-to-face meetings have the highest value, in terms of making connections and building your sphere of influence. Yes, there’s a limit to the number of people you can meet, but that should not deter you from making the effort. The fact is that unless you are trained to do it well, you may not (a) see the value of networking, (b) do it very well, or (c) find it as highly beneficial as it could be. Here are some tips to help you correct those issues.

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Ways to Make Connections


Are you new to your community and/or looking for a way to establish yourself as an author and build your platform? Here are a few tips that might help you get started.

1. Take a class just for the fun of it. During the natural flow of conversation with fellow students, you can educate and inform them about your book(s).


2. Start a social or business group. Looking for women readers? Start a women's group. After the fitness crowd? Start a running group. You get the idea.


3. Teach what you love! Design a continuing-ed class. Look for opportunities at the local colleges, parks department, senior centers, YMCA/YWCA, libraries, and non-profit organizations.


4. Get out there and speak! Volunteer as a speaker at a group your readers attend. There are numerous groups in most communities, almost all of which are in constant need of speakers/presenters and would welcome your expert knowledge.


5. Network in a bowl. Buddy up with the owner of a shop that your readers visit frequently and offer a gift as a drawing for those willing to drop their business card into a fishbowl.


6. Visit a few networking and/or women’s groups. These days, networking is plentiful in most larger cities or communities. Women’s groups are particularly plentiful.


7. Contact your local chamber of commerce. Chambers of  commerce are a great way to network and grow your platform.


8. Find a national group for your topic or industry. While there may not be a local chapter in your community, a national group can put you in touch with others in your industry who do live in your area.

9. Check out association lists on the Web. Many industries have associations which have newsletters, regular meetings, and their own specific networking avenues.

 

 

Make networking your friend and watch your net worth expand!

 

These organizations and websites may be helpful in identifying online and live networking groups to help you build your platform and expand your sphere of influence. DISCLAIMER: We are members of some of the groups listed here, have attended meetings through others, and have simply listed some as potential options for your consideration.

  American Business Women's Association

  BNI

  Book Marketing Network

  Christian Authors Network

  Center for Association Leadership

  Irish Network USA

  LeTip

  LinkedIn Groups

  Mark Sheldon's Author Networking Sites

  Meetup.com

  National Association of Women Business Owners

  Toastmasters

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

d

Everyday Networking Scenarios

 

 You're having your usual Saturday morning chai tea at an unnamed coffeehouse, when  you notice that
you and the person sitting the next
table are reading the same
Wall  Street Journal
story...


 You're in line at the bookstore
and you  notice that the guy in front
of you is buying a  book about
the same topic as your book...


 You're in line a the grocery store and
one of the tabloids has a cover article
about a topic you know well. The guy
 ahead of you hears you mention
it to your  17-year-old son...


 The bank teller sees your business
name on  your deposit slip and asks
you about your book...


 You are getting your hair
cut/curled/colored  and the stylist
asks you what you do for a  living...


 You are doing your best to entertain
yourself  at your spouse/partner's boss' daughter's wedding, and you strike
up a conversation with the
photographer, who also happens
to be a master Web designer...


 You're staffing the dunk tank booth
at your  child's school carnival
with two other  parents...


 It's intermission during a play, ballet,
or other  cultural event. You notice
a parallel between the storyline and
an experience you describe in your
book. The man sitting in front of you
hears you discussing this with your date...


 The plumber/electrician/cable
guy/phone installer comes to your
house and has to walk through
your home office to do their  job...


 You join a new softball/darts/bowling/
 racquetball/Rock-Paper-Scissors league...


 You're in the waiting room at the
dentist/ pediatrician/mechanic/DMV
with three other  equally bored people...


 You're the co-chair of the raffle committee
for your civic/religious organization,
and it's your  job to go out into the community to round up gift donations...


 You're on vacation in San Diego
and one of the other guests at your
hotel notices your cool logo
and the name of your publishing
company on your golf  shirt...


 You're on a long flight and wind up
sitting next to a
VERY chatty old lady ...
who brags to you  about  her
granddaughter, who is very well
connected in the publishing industry...

 

 

 

What’s Your Networking Personality Style?

by Laura Orsini

 

Smart authors do some sort of networking to build their platforms. If you've been at the networking game for a while, but you're finding that no matter how many events you attend or people you meet, networking is just not working for you, it’s might be you. That's right - it might be you. You're probably not attending the wrong events, meeting people who just don't read your books, or simply having a run of bad luck. Those things could be a small part of the problem, but if, generally speaking, networking does not work for you, it's probably you.

 

That might be a tough pill to swallow — your networking probably isn't working because of something you are doing or not doing. It's OK. First, know you are not alone. For some individuals, meeting people is easy; others of us would rather have dental surgery than show up at another event where we stand around with a drink in our hands, looking for someone who looks the least bit friendly.

Second, understand that you can learn to be a better networker. But in order to do that, it is imperative that right this minute you get out of the victim mentality that’s been allowing you to believe (i.e., justify) that it’s all someone else’s fault.


There ARE things you can do to become a better networker. You have one of two choices: (1) you can master theses skills,  or (2) you can stay home and wonder why lesser authors are selling more books than you are.

What are the FIVE greatest keys to successful networking?

1. SELECTIVITY.
Be selective about the events you attend. Hitting every event (also known as being a netwoking whore) is not necessarily the key to effective networking. Detemine the kinds of people, business owners, or industries that would likely be your readers or know your readers, and find out where they meet, mix, and mingle.

2. INTENTION. Set an intention before every event. Visualize the outcome, and let it be people-oriented, as opposed to money- or business-oriented. And if you have a strong hestiation or resitance about the event — that is, if you really don’t want to go — stay home! People can feel your energy!

Set an intention about the kind of networker you want people to remember you being.

We've all met a few folks who could use a lesson or two in networking etiquette. These are just a few of the networking styles you don't ever want to have used to describe you:

The Entertainer. This person must be the center of attention at all times. They never enter a room unnoticed — and when they arrive, they make sure everyone knows they have arrived. They talk at great length about themselves, their books, their fascinating hobbies and pursuits, their globetrotting son, their Ph.D. daughter, their cute little dog, their powerful speedboat, their fahb-U-lous neighbors, their oh-so-well-run HOA of which they are the president, their upcoming African safari, their very important positions on various boards of directors, the speech they gave in Cannes last week, their burgeoning portfolio, their...

Grand Inquisitor. This guy hammers others at events with rude, impertinent, or irrelevant questions. No probing is too personal, and he will turn any affront you may take at his boorishness back around on you. He has a commanding presence, but is unaware of the subtleties of interpersonal relationships. If he were is in sales, he'd be King of the Hard Sell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to Make an Impact 
as a Connector?

 

Be awake.

Be beautiful, inside and out.

Be confident.

Be courteous.

Be daring.

Be energetic.

Be an example.

Be friendly.

Be funny.

Be genuine.

Be grateful.

Be honest.

Be in the moment.

Be interested.

Be interesting.

Be knowledgeable.

Be lovable.

Be loving.

Be pleasant.

Be purposeful.

Be of service.

Be on time.

Be of value.

Be YOURSELF.
      

        Your net worth depends on you network.

 

 

The Mystery Man. This individual is not quite sure how to describe his book or his business. He's quiet, unobtrusive, and  you will miss him completely unless you accidentally trip over him on your way back from the bar. He's super smart and the nicest guy, but no one ever gets to know how smart or nice he is because he can't keep anyone interested long enough for them to learn anything about him. Sherlock Holmes would have a tough time figuring this guy out.

The Card Dealer. We've all met this gal whose only expertise seems to be the Business Card Shuffle. She throws her card at every person she meets, whether or not they are interested — usually before she even asks their name, if she ever gets around to asking at all. For this person, networking is just a numbers game. All she's got ot do is get her card out there to 250 new people per week, and then sit back and wait for the book sales to roll in and the phone to ring. "Damn, why aren't people buying my book, and why isn't my phone ringing?"

On the other hand, there also are people who have such grace and finesse that we only wish we could be as skilled as they are at people-meeting. A few networking styles we can all aspire to:

The Hostess With the Mostest. This outgoing person knows how to make even the most wilted wallflower feel welcome and important. She genuinely cares about people — she makes it a personal mission to see that everyone who attends an event has a good time — whether or not she's actually hosting the event. She knows  learn how to give a sincere compliment that will make anyone feel instantly more confident and special.

The Storyteller. This person can engage almost any crowd with their knowledge, charm, and wit.  They always have an interesting story at the ready that, while entertaining, is never self-aggrandizing or simply for show. The have learned that telling a story that others can relate to will get and keep people’s attention — and prompt them to ask more questions.

The UN Ambassador. This person is a diplomatic wonder. They are very well-connected and they use their seemingly encyclopedic knowledge about their friends', colleagues' and associates' businesses to continually introduce people to one another, building bridges between individuals who might never otherwise meet.

 

Networking Articles

 

 

The Investigative Reporter. This individual knows how to dig beneath the surface to get to really know people. They usually have more personal knowledge about others than their colleagues (e.g., birthdays, who's sick or just had a new baby, etc.), not because they're nosy, but because they're genuinely interested. They understand the truth in the truism that people do business with those they know, like, and trust. Their secret weapon is ICE.

I = investigate
C = celebrate
E = equilibriate, meaning we’re all equal, so treat everyone equally — regardless of their status.

Acronym courtesy of Adora Spencer, the Celebrity Connector.

3. CONNECTION. You must have the willingness & ability to create a meaningful connection with others. Anyone who approaches networking simply as a numbers game (If I pass out and collect 50 cards... If I can generate a dozen warm leads... If I can schedule five appointments...) is missing the  point. Who attends networking events? People do! With whom do we do business? We do business with people. If and when you begin making your connections with people the focus of your networking, you will begin to see positive returns on your networking investments. 

4. CONSISTENCY. Many novice networkers (and an unfortunate number of networking veterans) attend new networking events or try out new groups, never to return. Ask them why, and they say trite things like, "I didn't get any business." "No one talked ot me." "It's a big clique — they don't welcome strangers." And then they never go back again, and write that group or event off as another failed attempt. Networking successes don't happen in a box, and networking doesn't pay off instantly. Networking is about building relationships — and building relationships takes time, just like it takes time to grow a garden from seeds. Sow your networking seeds well, and you will have a bountiful harvest. The fact is, it's not until you attend any event regularly enough that you are missed when you’re not there that you actually know the people well enough for them to want to do business with you.  

5. FOLLOW UP. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is likely to come of all your networking efforts if you don't follow up. Some people are stunning with their follow-up skills, while others of us shuffle the stacks of business cards we collect, thinking that someday we'll get to them. The best idea is to develop a follow-up system. Some sort of planned response effort that guarantees that you get back to the people you've met so that you can develop those chance meetings into relationships. As a rule, e-mail is good. A hand-written note is better. A phone call is even better still. But absolutely nothing beats an in-person meeting.

 

A Few Final Tips

Never assume someone can’t help you, can't be of use to you, or isn’t worth your time to get to know. You have no idea  who your UPS driver’s other clients are, who (s)he’s married to, or who his/her neighbors are. Get to know the people first, so that you can develop a relationship. You'll be amazed at the results.  

Remember, networking is not reserved for events that call themselves networking functions. Successful networking can and does take place ANYWHERE!!

 PLEASE FEEL FREE to REPUBLISH THIS ARTICLE, provided you MAKE NO
 CHANGES and attach the following bio:

Laura Orsini is a savvy networker and book consultant who specializes in helping self-publishing authors, speakers, and coaches to think like marketers. Follow her book marketing blog for great tips on becoming a Savvy Book Marketer. WriteMarketDesign.com

 

 
     
  If you've got further questions about author networking, please shoot us an email today!  
     
 

LAURA ORSINI | Freelance Writer | Editor | Designer | Marketer | Social Alchemist | BLOG


Laura
@WriteMarketDesign.com 602.518.5376 PO Box 40273, Phoenix AZ 85067

 

 
 

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