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Alice got the job of her dreams as business development director in a new up and coming business valuations firm.

She was raring to go.

And go she did – to every networking event recommended to her.

She went to 4-5 events a week and set up breakfasts, lunches, and after hours drinks 5 days a week.

After 6 months she had met hundreds of business people, collected stacks of business cards – and gained 11 pounds.

But she had not gained any new business.

Alice was getting nervous, and so was  her managing partner.

That’s when she reached out to me and asked for my help. Alice knew I had built a targeted, thriving network and that I teach service professional and entrepreneur clients this technique to grow their businesses.

Ya Gotta Have A “Niche-Networking” Strategy

Exhausted, frustrated, and without any closed business to show for it, Alice’s ears perked up when she heard about my strategic niche-networking plan for her.

Putting this plan into place, Alice booked 6 figures worth of new business over the next 5 months and broke through her first year’s revenue goal. Nice.

Why aren’t more people getting these kinds of results?

Because most people are out there networking up a storm without any kind of niche-networking strategy

You see, not all networking is created equal. If you agree, tweet this

In my view, networking, in and of itself, doesn’t work all that well. So much of the networking done out there is a huge waste of time and effort.

I constantly see people struggling in their networking, hear complaints and questions day in and day out: I’m networking non-stop. Why aren’t I meeting the right people?

The solution to this dilemma can be found in Alice’s case. Let’s re-look at that scenario:

When Alice was on her networking hamster wheel, she just wasn’t meeting decision makers in her niche market.

Alice knew that 90% of her firm’s business comes through the referrals of trust and estate attorneys.

How many trust and estate attorneys had Alice met through her original networking approach? Exactly 2.

Alice shifted into niche-networking overdrive. She

  • attended Trust & Estates Bar Association meetings,
  • joined the Estate Planning Council,
  • researched groups and associations connected with trust & estates attorneys,
  • asked all of her accountant colleagues for their preferred trust & estates connections.

Alice started hosting happy hours for …. – you guessed it: trust and estates attorneys.

She also STOPPED networking down – in all the places that didn’t fit her market.

Within 5 months, Alice became well-known in trust & estate circles, built a contact list of several hundred quality colleagues in her niche and booked 6 figures worth of business.

Networking alone doesn’t work; niche-networking, on the other hand, works really, really well.

We all want to meet the exact right people for our business, don’t we? We want to connect with our ideal decision makers, influencers, connectors, and big cheeses in our ideal niche market, right?

So how exactly do we do this?

5 Ways To Create The Perfect Niche-Networking Strategy

To niche-network successfully, you should plan to start with some research and development. Here are 5 ways to get started on the road to successful niche-networking:

1. Know thy niche. You have to get crystal clear on who your market really is. If you are defining your niche by “anyone who….” you are on the wrong path (download my free “Rich Niche Kit” found on the front page of my blog to help you zero in on one or two specific ideal niche(s).

2. Research where your niche is congregating. What organizations do they belong to? What conferences do they attend? What charities do they support? Where are they speaking, sponsoring?  Fish where your ideal fish are swimming.

3. Create content where your niche-network is reading/listening/viewing, on topics that are relevant to them.
John Jantsch, the go-to expert on content marketing, said in his  post on Duct Tape Marketing,  that networking should now be considered an essential component to successful content marketing.

What this means is that when producing content – articles, posts, podcasts, videos, and webinars – we should simultaneously be thinking about our ideal niche-networking partners who can help us spread our content in the right arenas, and vice versa.

4. Get involved, get known in your niche-network’s circles. Joining a committee or a board that serves your niche-network’s interests will get you visibility, credibility, and build demand more quickly than almost any other niche-networking tactic.

5. Stop networking down – with groups or people that are draining you. You will save time, energy, money, and your sanity.

Niche-networking changed my business and my life.  I not only started to really enjoy networking and meeting the right people, I more than doubled my business in 15 months and built a well-regarded, productive personal brand in the professional services arena.

Is it time you stopped networking and started niche-networking?

If you found this article helpful, please take a moment and leave a comment, or even better, forward this to a colleague you know could benefit.