My Personal Networking Plan for 2021

Photo from Unsplash

In the new year, I want to launch my own social media business. So networking will and must be a big part of my marketing strategy in the next few months.

In anticipation of that I have already joined local entrepreneur Facebook groups where I am going to put my focus on in the next few months.

Especially now that we are facing Covid-19, my networking will be mostly online in the next few months. I am going to try my best to network in person as well, but since I’m immune-compromised I have to extra careful.

I plan to be more present in the (local) Facebook groups that I mentioned, to introduce myself and my business and to comment, ask questions and to answer questions. I want to give more to those groups than I want to take. And I plan on building relationships with some of the people in those groups and I hope to get some meaningful connections and to also further my business through that.

What options can you recommend for online networking? Let me know in the comments.

COM0015 Blog 3: Professional Networking Now and in the Future

As a personal chef, the majority of my networking happens through referrals from happy customers, therefore in person networking has worked best for me thus far. In person networking also takes place via local associations such as chambers of commerce, and other local business associations. 988636_10151462026005426_1459766305_nWhen other businesses in my area have a need for food services, they tend to go with someone like myself who is a fellow member of a common association. Given the nature of my business, which is in person, I have found this type of networking to be most effective.

I am also a member of the Canadian Personal Chef Association which itself gives my business added credibility. Through this association, leads and referrals are sent my way. However, I have found that in the rural area where I live, referrals via the CPCA are few and far between. Most of them are directed to chefs in bigger urban areas.

On line networking tools that I have been utilizing include Linkedin, Facebook, and my association with the Canadian Personal Chef Association. 263223_10150242043860426_5525968_nI have also been blog writing about food, nutrition and cooking with the purpose of remaining or becoming top of mind to clients and potential clients.

In the next 6-12 months I would like to broaden my on line professional networking.  I would like to become more active on Instagram with some high quality food photography, and I would also like to try some vlogging showing some cooking in action.

COM0015 Blog Post #3 – Hello….It’s Me.

While I maintain professional contacts both online and in person I still tend to make face to face contact first and then follow with an online connection.tag & card

My online world includes Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles. I use Facebook primarily for personal connections, but do include some business connections to keep current on news and events.

LinkedIn is for my business connections. While these sometimes overlap as friends I do not use this platform to post personal details. I connect with people I have both met in person as well as some who I have met virtually. I do however still struggle a bit with accepting requests to connect from people with whom I have no prior relationship.

I don’t use Twitter very frequently but do maintain account to follow and be followed.

In person, I regularly attend a number of events where networking is the focus. Through my full-time and part-time jobs I regularly take part in events hosted by local chambers of commerce, business associations and industry partners.gcacc

In the next 6-12 months I plan be more deliberate about my ‘in-person’ networking by making stronger connections with people I don’t know well and seek out information on businesses I would like to learn more about. In the on-line space, I would like to interact more with LinkedIn groups to both develop my networks and learn more about opportunities in my areas of expertise.

What about you – do tend to network more on-line or in person?  Do you struggle with making connections in either medium?