Networking advice from a ‘clown’ – 2

Clown from morgueFileIn my last article I quoted advice from corporate comedian Rodney Marks, who responded to someone trying to break into the market. Marks’s advice would be helpful to any independent consultant in any field, whether new to the game or an old hand. The first article contained Marks’s first three suggestions. Here is his fourth piece of advice and two more of my own.

(The original discussion on LinkedIn can be found here.)

4. ‘Establish – and use – an emotional support group of fellow entertainers AND people who are not in our industry. Ask for advice and comfort … and give the same, though not necessarily to the same people.’

Creating a support group of people inside and outside your own industry or field of expertise is sound advice. Add to that a coach or mentor who will challenge and encourage you on your journey.

5. Join whatever forums, both face to face and online, to which you can add value and from which you can receive input and guidance.

I joined the local Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, because it comprises my most important actual and potential clients. I attend whatever forums I can and participate as much as possible to become known for what I can offer – not easy for an introvert.

I also joined the SA Labour Guide forum on LinkedIn and the Skills Universe forum. I contribute as much as I can, and I have received valuable insights and advice in return.

Such networking opportunities help establish one’s credibility and define one’s brand among people who may become your clients, advocates or advisors.

6. Write a newsletter. This might apply to certain businesses more than others but give it some thought. I publish articles like this one on my website and incorporate them into a monthly newsletter. I also include other activities I may wish to advertise, such as my public workshops. Get to know and use MailChimp. It is free, and it is easy to accumulate a mailing list and create and send newsletters and campaigns.

Don’t send out spam, but as you meet people and swap business cards and email addresses, ask them if you can add them to your mailing list and send them your newsletter.

Do you have any comments or additional advice? Please add to the comments below.

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Ian Webster

From Methodist minister to Customer Relations manager in a computer bureau to HR Manager in a newspaper printing and publishing company. Now focussing on training and developing people and HR & people-management consulting.

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