The key to success is not necessarily what you know or who you know, it’s who knows you! Get out there and meet as many people as you can. Your local chambers of commerce host networking events regularly. Take advantage of these low cost (and sometimes, free!) events. Hand out your business cards and get other people’s cards. Meet people, talk, laugh, share information. Save the “selling” for after you’ve gotten to know someone.
Once you’ve started networking on a regular basis, you’ll start seeing the same people over and over. These are the people you want to keep in contact with. Since they are out in the community, meeting others – they will most like be making recommendations to their friends and acquaintances. Make sure they know who you are and what you do!
Not sure how to make yourself stand out from the crowd? Well, first impressions do count. Consider wearing a statement piece – a bold tie for men, or a special piece of jewelry for women. Make your business card something to talk about. Follow up the next day with a phone call or an email – just saying it was great to meet them. Not only will they remember you next time, they’ll probably seek you out.