Finding your vibe tribe

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Finding your ‘vibe Tribe’ and learning to listen and network with others in mind leads to your own business success, and it’s not all about being an extrovert.

Networking is not about hard sell tactics, schmoozing with others, inflated egos, clicky groups, ‘it crowds’, or stepping on anyone else to get to the top! Quite the opposite in fact! It’s about building cohesive and trusting relationships with like minded people who help and support one another. With the right vibe tribe, the possibilities are limitless! Moreover, you don’t need to sell to win new business opportunities, so it’s a perfect way to reach new customers, through the power of word-of-mouth and relationship marketing. With a simple mindset shift and a few key essentials, I believe that done right, networking is the GPS to success! 

Get Your Networking Strategy Right

Get your networking strategy in place before you do anything else. There’s no one size fits all approach to networking. It’s about what’s right for you and your business. Ask others for recommendations about what works well for them, but develop your own route to networking success. It’s your networking journey, so you need to create your own networking roadmap. 

Know Your Why

People network for different reasons, so consider why you are networking and what you hope to achieve from it. Common reasons for networking include: getting new customers; finding trusted suppliers; being around like minded people; or getting referrals. For some, who work or run businesses from home, it’s also about having that human connection with other businesspeople. The psychological elements of networking with the right vibe tribe often go unnoticed but should never be underestimated. So, what’s your why? 

Know Your Target Audience

Gain insights and clarity about your target audience. If you don’t know who your ideal customer is, then people won’t know who or how to introduce you to their network of contacts. Furthermore, you could end up networking with the wrong people. Knowing who your target audience is can be invaluable in helping you focus your energy on connecting with the right people. This could be the difference between networking success and failure. It’s your responsibility to put yourself in the most appropriate networking environment and to educate others about the perfect introductions and referrals for you. Knowing your target audience is a must! 

Be Specific!

Being specific is terrific when it comes to networking, so avoid saying things like, “I can work with anyone or any business”. It’s just not specific enough! Use your own customer data to pinpoint customer traits and commonalities. Whether it’s the reason they buy, or other demographics like age, geography, time in business, or business sectors, for example. Buyer behaviour can be extremely insightful. Find those commonalities and start to build a clear vision of who your ideal customer is. Add what differentiates your business from your competitors into the mix, and you’ll be on your way to clarifying and communicating with your network precisely who you need introductions with.  

Embrace the Emotional and Psychological Elements of Networking   

Let’s focus on the emotional and psychological elements of networking. We’re human beings, so we need to be with other human beings. There are always going to be networking nuisances that come into play, so it’s important that you get what you need emotionally from networking too. Generally, people tend to be drawn to people who are like them. There’s a certain reassurance about meeting someone who you instantly connect with. However, it’s important to embrace our differences too. After all, it could be the person you least expect who will give you the best referral that you’ve ever had. 

Master the skills of an introvert

Yes, vibe with people who you strike an instant rapport with, but keep open-minded about getting to know people who may take you out of your cosy comfort zone. To have an effective networking environment, there needs to be an array of personality types and communication styles. You will get better results if you take the time to have one-to-one meetings away from your networking events or groups so that you build better relationships with people. Listen to understand, rather than just listening to reply. It’s those who ask questions and listen to understand that are in control of conversations. Not the person who talks the most! Introverts are naturally brilliant at this. As an extrovert myself, it’s something I’ve had to learn and master over the years. It’s not about having the ability to talk to anyone – it’s often having the capacity to listen to anyone that matters most. 

Find the Right Vibe Tribe

Where can you find the right Vibe Tribe? Consider where exactly your essential connectors are networking – both online and offline. Are they mostly hanging out on social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter? Or do they prefer to attend industry conferences or local meet-ups? Are they attending open work-the-room type of networking events? Or are they connected to people through networking groups that you will need to pay to join? Don’t waste too much time scouring through places where your essential connectors aren’t spending their time; find out where they are and make sure those are the places where you spend yours! 

Consider what times of day you need to be networking. You will find that different networking events and groups are on throughout the day, from dawn until dusk. Again, it’s where your essential connectors hang out that’s important here. If they’re at a breakfast networking group, provided that time of day suits your family life, then that’s where you need to be, whether you’re a morning person or not. If you’re an early riser and prefer not to network in the evening, you may need to push yourself to attend a late networking event. My rule of thumb: If essential connectors or customers are there, then you ought to be too. It’s all about them! After all, they’re the people who will introduce you to other people. You’ve got to be in it to win it! 

Become an Essential Connector and Give to Get

Become an essential connector and utilise every opportunity you can to help other people. By helping others get what they want, they will eventually help you get what you want. Introduce people to others, create referrals when you can, and do everything you can to assist other people. Do this consistently, and networking karma will come back to you. Networking isn’t a quick fix – it takes time, effort, and consistency. There are no guarantees, and often it can take months of relationship building before you reap the rewards, so find the right kind of networking for you and stick at it. Most people give up just as they’re about to make it. Will you be one of them?

Consistency is Key: Don’t Give Up Just as You’re About to Make It!

In summary, no matter what kind of business you’re in, having an effective networking strategy is critical for success. Knowing your customer and who your essential connectors are will help ensure that every hour spent building up contacts and relationships isn’t wasted. Instead, it will lead directly towards achieving the goals you set. Additionally, understanding which types of events are best suited for making connections, along with when and where those connections can happen, increases efficiency while reducing wasted effort – resulting in quicker results overall! By following this simple guide – knowing why, who, what, when and where – you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by a powerful Vibe Tribe ready and willing to help each other out!

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Tracy Heatley
Tracy Heatley MBA, FCIM is a Chartered Marketer and Award Winning Networking Specialist with over 25 years marketing, and networking experience; having successfully run several networking groups in the North West for over a decade. She is also an Award Winning Broadcaster, Radio Presenter, Podcaster and experienced Public Speaker, Events Host and Ceremony MC. She has appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live Wake Up to Money show and Yahoo Finance Her impact and influence has resulted in remarkable results for her clients including tripling their turnover within 6 weeks of working with her, winning more clients and cases in the court room thanks to improved communication skills; identifying hidden markets in their industry so they can become the market leader, and overcoming the fear of starting a new business. Tracy thrives on helping small businesses and start-ups discover and implement new ideas to turn their fortunes around and become profitable and sustainable in whatever climate. Yes, even in a recession! In fact, she even turned her own fortunes around in the last recession of 2008. Here is her podcast: https://www.tracyheatley.com/business-podcasts/ and Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/255181548818865