Growing Your Network in Network Marketing
One of the biggest mistakes that I made when I was first getting started in this business, was putting all of my eggs in one basket. When you are starting out in Network Marketing, every mentor/book will tell you that it is all about building a network, but that you should start with your warm market first. These are the people who you already know, and you are pretty sure you can trust that if you lean on them, they will be there to support you.
But your business does not truly get off the ground, until you find a way to get outside this warm market, and this can be one of the most challenging aspects of starting out in direct sales.
For example, in my early months, when I was looking to book parties, I would ask one person, and then eagerly await their response. Knowing what I know now, I realize that it can often take weeks to book one party with someone, with many follow-ups, so having all of my eggs in that basket is allowing this one person to be the only contributing factor to if I have a successful month or not. If in the end, they choose to reschedule or cancel their party, I am left with nothing. Hence the need to start building your Network right from the beginning.
Enter the Funnel Analogy.
Put simply - this is simply about layering on more.
When I was only talking to one person, there was only the possibility of bringing that one person into my business. When I started to expand my reach, and bring more people into my funnel, by sheer numbers alone, there was a greater chance that more would be interested in either buying, hosting or joining my team. When I realized this (after a few months of feeling that no one was interested in my business) it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. I just needed to meet more people!
And while this may seem complicated, in all actuality, this can be the most personally rewarding aspect of the business.
Sidenote: Before you move outside your warm market, make sure that every single one of your friends and family knows that you have started your own business. Whether they are interested in getting involved or not, you want to build awareness because this will also help to build your funnel.
How to Meet More People:
- Join Local Networking Groups. Local networking groups are the best place to start when you are looking to expand your network. These men and women are networking with the intent to build their businesses as well, so they are often very supporting of other entrepreneurs. You can join these online or in-person.
- Sign-up for Vendor Events in your area. Craft Sales, Mom-to-Mom Sales, School Fundraisers, Vendor Fairs, etc. can all be incredible places to get your name out there. You can also find online Vendor Events if that's your jam.
- Join a Mommy Group. If you're a mom with young kiddos - go out and meet other moms in the same stage of life. Not necessarily to pitch them your business, but to develop real relationships and let it grow from there.
- Join a Book Club. See the points above. What I'm really trying to get at here is find circles of people with the same interests as you, and build relationships.
- Do a Pop-Up Shop at a Local Store/Restaurant. You can approach any local business and ask them if you would be able to set up a small display to add extra value for their customers. Think salons, bakeries, restaurants, clothing boutiques, etc.
The key is here, you're always building relationships in a natural and genuine way.
While developing your Social Media Network is an important element in this business, this is not necessarily the strongest way to build your network. I recommend starting a VIP Group for all of your friends, family and past customers that are interested in keeping in the loop and then building organically from there. It is a slow process, but a great way to round out your business. (I thought about taking this section out, because social media has grown so much since I wrote this blog post, but for posterity, I will keep it in - so that you can see where I started in growing my own network.)
Chances are, you are also overlooking people who are already in your network, they just haven’t been introduced to your business yet. Consider the professionals that you already give your business to – Lawyers, Hairdresser, Aesthetician, Accountant, etc. Or the people who you cross paths with already, that you could start to form a relationship with. The other dance moms, or hockey parents. People who are a part of your charity committee, or Parent-Teacher Association. Essentially anyone and everyone that you talk to, can be someone who you can bring into your warm market.
Building a strong network is an on-going process with this type of business. You will want to continually be filling your funnel with new people and new groups who can play a part in your business. The more people that you put into that funnel, and the better you do at forming relationships with them, the more likely you are to bring them out the bottom of the funnel as either a new customer, new Hostess or even a brand new team member.
And have fun with it! Interact with people you enjoy spending your time with, get involved in activities that are fun for you! This will make the experience more authentic to you, and more likely to be something that you can build from and continue as your business evolves and grows.
ps. want to learn the ins and outs of building a NWM'ing business? Come and join us inside the Level Up Academy.
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