TERP HARD TRUTH: IT'S NOT WHOM YOU KNOW, BUT WHO KNOWS YOU
Networking is an incredibly important component of business development; so much so that I devoted an entire pillar of THE TERPRENEUR™ METHOD to it.
There are many networking techniques that are easy to apply and entail us making the first move and actively staying in touch with key people in our markets in order to stay top of their minds. They are as useful as they are valuable.
However, networking is a two-way street and who knows you is equally or, even, more important than whom you know.
The rationale behind investing time and effort in staying top of mind is to be the first name that people think of when they need someone who does what you do so that they either call you or recommend you.
Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways for interpreters to grow our businesses. The problem is that people do not care about our businesses the way we do. Nor should they. They have their own things to worry about and their own goals to pursue.
So, it is up to us to help them connect the dots and make it super easy to ‘share us’ with others.
By implementing the following three principles as consistently as you can:
- Show up.
This does not mean showing up just for the sake of it, empty-handed and with vested interest. It means showing up to serve your audience, to bring them value, to contribute something to their lives, whether it is useful information, a fresh perspective or mere entertainment.
- Become a referent in your field.
The world is full of overnight pseudo-experts, I know. However, you are an expert in what you do and – if I may be so bold – you have an obligation to share your expertise with the world, even if the world you share it with is made of less than fifty people. By consistently showing up and adding value, you will become a referent, the go-to person for anything related to your field, the one to be recommended and whose details are passed on without you even asking for it.
- Be easy to share.
You do not know when word of mouth is going to happen as, more often than not, you are not even ‘in the room’ when it does. However, you can foster it by making it easy for people to find your details (or even better the added-value pieces with which you show up) and share them. That name you trade under, your email domain, your social media handles as well as clear calls to actions and contact instructions help a lot by simply removing barriers and encouraging people to share you.
You may know a lot of people and have plenty connections on LinkedIn but, if they never hear from you, if they do not know what you do, who you are, what you stand for, and how to get in touch with you, how can you expect them to reach out to you when they need you or tell their friends and colleagues to contact you when they do?
You are always in control of your business; that includes who knows you, too.
I get that imposter syndrome may make you feel uneasy or, even, devoid of anything useful to say. But word of mouth is a two-way street, too, and as much as you benefit from the pat on the back that any recommendation represents, the person that recommends you also benefits from the increased status that knowing the right person for the job brings them.
It is a win-win situation – what could be better than that?
Now that you know, you are responsible for making sure the right people know you and what you do.
If you are ready to shift from interpreter to terpreneur™ then check out my monthly membership, THE TERPRENEUR™ SOCIETY. We have masterclasses on how to network effectively as well as other key aspects of building and growing your business around the 4 pillars of terpreneurship™.
I believe it’s easier to tackle big tasks and be consistent in our efforts when we have the support of a great community.
Experience hast also taught me that once we start, questions rear up their ugly face again and again and doubts creep in. That’s when a support system to guide you and keeping you accountable truly makes a difference.
I also believe that if each of us stands stronger, then the whole professional community benefits, especially in shifting times like the ones we’re living through now.
The THE TERPRENEUR™ SOCIETY kicks off for Founding Members only on Thursday, 1 April and you can join as a Founding Member until midnight tomorrow, 31 March here.
I really do hope you join us - I think we can build something great together.
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