How to network with local business to build your business.
The value of networking is valued in many industries, yet aestheticians seem to underestimate its importance. There seems to be an underlying feeling that networking is for other types of business but doesn’t apply in our field of work. Not so! In fact, I would argue that networking is even more important in the world of aesthetics than it is in most other industries.
Networking is one of the most powerful tools an individual can use to advance both their personal and professional life. Of course, networking can help you to get new business. When you meet someone, not only do you have the opportunity to potentially create a new customer, but you also have the chance to build your visibility. This can strengthen the word-of-mouth impact of your aesthetics business, because ultimately you are your business. When you meet someone and they’ve already heard something positive about you as either an aesthetician or as a person, it strengthens your position and helps build you as a brand. The more networking that you do, the more visibility and awareness that you give to you and your services.
It’s all about creating, building, and maintaining relationships. The relationships that you build and strengthen build loyalty. When times are tough, a customer will leave you, but a friend won’t. Isn’t that doubly true of the connection that we as aestheticians make with our clients?
Anywhere you go where there are people present is a potential networking opportunity. Whether it’s a party, a coffee shop, your local bakery, or a book club, the opportunities are there if you open your eyes to them. You should also attend specific networking opportunities:
- Knowledge networks (professional associations)
- Strong local contact networks (groups that meet frequently specifically to build professional relationships, like those run by BNI)
- Online networks (professional social media services, such as LinkedIn)
- Attend local events of all sorts
- Become active on social media
When you attend these events, don’t let yourself be caught off guard. You need a primed and polished elevator pitch that gets right to the heart of you and the excellent aesthetics services that you offer. When opportunity strikes, be ready to fire off your services in a heartbeat. Be knowledgeable, and keep your thoughts organized and concise.
Remember, networking isn’t necessarily about finding immediate clients. It’s about cultivating relationships over time. You don’t want to be overly salesy. Networking is also a time to get referrals, and trade contacts with others, both about your own business but also about theirs. Always follow up with the people you meet and take the time to cultivate every relationship. Networking is also about leaving a positive lasting impression. Even if the person you speak with never requires your services themselves, they could be a source of referral to their friends, family, and colleagues.
Networking takes practice. Not everyone has the gift of gab and the natural social butterfly gene, but these are skills that can be learned and developed. Invest in your community and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. Over time, networking could very well be the key to your profitability and the growth and health of your business. And you might actually find it quite fun. In fact, from time to time I have networking events that I would invite you to attend. If they would like to learn more, please contact me via the newsletter sign-up form on my site. Best of luck!