I was recently interviewed by Ilise Benun, of Marketing Mentor, on my experience with networking. You can read the interview in full on her blog.

Networking isn’t just for extroverts—there are a variety of groups and events that fit many personality types and schedules. Not only is networking a great way to connect with potential customers, it will help your business perfect its outreach.

Refining your message

Talking about yourself and your business gives you instant feedback on how it is interpreted. You gain a tremendous amount of experience presenting your “elevator pitch” and adjusting your answers based on a person’s response.

Cultivating relationships

Networking is most beneficial when you make a habit of attending. As you encounter the same members, over time you will get to know them better. View these as social opportunities and increase your potential to develop lasting connections. You never know who someone is connected to.

Discovering complementary businesses

Even though many businesses would love to be a one-stop shop for their customers, that isn’t always feasible. However, making strategic relationships with companies who offer complimentary services or products will allow you to expand your offerings as needed.

Try a few different types of events that interest you. Finding a group of like-minded professionals will have benefits that extend into many aspects of growing your business.