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Joanne Dewberry begins her second book with the age-old adage “Fake it until you make it.”

As Joanne admits, many of us find networking a difficult and awkward task. But to succeed as a small business, networking is essential and faking it until you make it is crucial.

In “Networking a Successful Small Business”, Joanne provides a straightforward, step-by-step guide to making networking a positive and rewarding experience.

Joanne highlights 5 key reasons to network:
  • Raises your small business profile 
  • Cost-Effective Advertising
  • Physical engagement = more online interaction
  • 85% of jobs are filled by networking
  • Form of group therapy

The simple act of maintaining a network works towards keeping us happy. Helping others, being friendly, and interacting with friends are all scientifically proven to keep boost happiness.

And as Joanne points out, being happy has plenty of benefits:
  • Improved Health 
  • Increased resilience
  • Better Relationships
  • Better Performance

To truly succeed in networking, preparation is crucial. Making goals for yourself, understanding what you do and what makes you unique, and practising will make all the difference.

Staying authentic while networking is another crucial point Joanne highlights. Keeping it real, truly loving what you do, and believe in yourself show that you are confident, have a plan, and actually care.

Finding the right networks can often be a challenge. Sharing experiences with various small businesses and learning from their experiences is priceless.

Identifying like-minded small businesses, no matter their niche, will help you enhance your own business and network.

Building a personal brand is often overlooked in networking and small business. People buy from people they like. Creating a brand that people like, through our actions, our clothing, our social media, and our mannerisms will help in the long-run.

Smile! Joanne emphasis the value of a smile, as it opens you up, makes you approachable, and shows confidence. A simple smile will go a long way!

“You get out of networking what you put into it.”

Following-up with your connections is the only way to maintain a relationship and develop your networking. Emailing, calling, or instant messaging will show you care and want to foster the right type of relationship.

Nevertheless, remember that face-to-face interactions are always more memorable than social media interactions.

Networking often comes with labels. Most people can be separated into Givers, Takers, and Matchers. Understanding who you are and what your connections are will help you develop relationships.

One key takeaway is the need to prioritize networking. Putting aside time to reach out and attend events maximizes your returns.

In the end, building rapport, leveraging small opportunities, and giving back will have a major impact on your small business and network.

Taking a deep dive into Joanne’s book will equip you with the right tools to succeed as a leader and networking. Fun and to-the-point, it’s definitely worth a look!

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