Now is the Time to Grow Your Network

Kevin Willett agrees with the Scout motto: Be Prepared

I have been impressed lately with the amount of people connecting with me on social media. More impressive is the fact that a lot of my new connections are coming from younger people and recent college grads. Why am I impressed by this? These people are seeing the need and taking the opportunity to expand their networks during these crazy economical times. By growing their networks now, they will be ready for the end of the pandemic and the uptick in the economy. Current business owners can learn from these actions. Maybe business is slow for you right now. Take the opportunity to reach out and connect with future business partners, clients, referral partners etc. If you have the time, put it to good use. Be ready to grow.

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

The Second Most Dangerous Statement

Kevin Willett says do not hide from change, embrace it

If the first most dangerous statement in Networking is “why do we do things this way? Answer: because we always have.”, then the second most dangerous statement is “I don’t go to networking events because no one is buying my services right now”. This was a statement I heard often at the beginning of the pandemic. This is all about your mind set. I have seen two different people with the same type of business, one with great sales and one not so great. Why are they different? It’s all in the attitude. Things have changed a lot this year, including networking. Now is not the time to wait for in person networking events to come back, because that might never happen. It may be the way you have always done it, but now is the time to adapt. Change your mind set.  The way I have adapted is with online networking.  As a business owner, we need to keep our connections current, we need to keep networking to meet new people, we need to keep growing our businesses. Right now, it is not possible to do things the way they have always been done. If you wait, it may be too late. It may not be easy but, make the changes you need to keep moving forward.

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

How Can You Help?

Kevin Willett agrees that sharing is caring!

Those of my Friends out there who have children have heard the phrase ‘sharing is caring’. This is a big theme in children’s videos and programming. Well this phrase also works in networking!

I did a video the other day with my Friend Dave. We had a great interview; the video is uploaded on my YouTube channel and I shared it across social media as I always do. For most people tagging them in these shares is enough. What Dave did, was share the video with all HIS connections, he put the link in his newsletter and he gave me a shoutout in the process telling people if they didn’t know me, they should definitely connect.  By doing this, Dave helped not only himself, but me as well.

Using social media is free. So why aren’t we all giving shout outs to our Friends, supporting them and their businesses? Someone may see your post and not need a service now, but it will be out there in case they need it in the future. I hugely appreciate it when people share my posts. That is networking at its best!

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

Now I Know Why

Kevin Willett says we can not predict the future so be prepared

We all know connecting with people through networking is important for growing your business. We try to connect with people who meet the criteria of what we are looking for in a client or referral partner. What about the people we meet or see on social media that do not meet the criteria? Should we connect with them too?

One of the mistakes I made when I started my Business Networking Group, Friends of Kevin was only connecting with people who had business to consumer needs. Business to Business type of companies I would pass over as I did not think they were a match. Five years later, I started the New England B2B Networking Group. It would have been a little easier if all those B2B businesspeople I met in the early days I had connected with and stayed in touch with! Same goes for people across the country that tried to connect with me. I thought, we are never going to be able to help each other or do business together. Now it’s 2020 and in person events are on a long hold. Video networking is hot right now. Someone in Texas can do business with someone in Massachusetts very easily.

We should all be a little more open to connections we make. Maybe you will be planning for a future business model you don’t know you are even interested in yet. Now I know why I should have taken a small amount of time to follow up with people who did not fit my immediate business needs. We can not predict the future and don’t know what crazy twists and turns life and business will throw our way.

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

Free

Kevin Willett says to think about what you are asking for

If you know me, you know I like free swag. I love being a walking billboard for small business. This happened by chance, being a professional networker, people often gave me tee shirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc.  Now if I see a business on social media rocking their company gear, I will tell them to send me something to wear in my next video or online post.  Now, while it may be OK to ask for free swag, it is never OK to ask for free services.

I do a lot of social media promotions for my clients. I have had non-clients ask me to do promotions for them. My clients pay me to promote them, that is how I make money. How can I do that for someone for free? My clients would not like that! I have also had potential clients say they would join my networking group after I got them a few clients. Again, why are you asking me to work for free? I wouldn’t tell my accountant I’ll only pay him if I got a refund. I wouldn’t ask a realtor to sell my house for free because we are friends. If you are asking me to work for you for free, would you work for me for free? Think about that before you ask for free services. It does not come across well for you and may harm your relationship with a potential referral partner.

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

How Long Does It Take?

Kevin Willett says putting in the effort will lead to results

I recently chatted with a friend of mine who is a member of a couple networking groups. He told me that none of them are really working out for him. When he spoke to the group leaders, they told him to be patient, it takes time. I agree with that 100%. I always say you need to let people get to Know, Like, and Trust you before you will see results. For my Friend however, it has been about a year in these groups and still no results. I think it’s time for him to re-evaluate. Not every group is right for everybody. If you have given it your all and by that I  mean are you active in the group, are you passing referrals and it is still not working, it is OK to say you need to step away.

The same goes for networking events. There are free events and paid events out there. Are you only going to the free events because you don’t want to spend money, and not finding what you are looking for? Sometimes the paid events have a more serious business representation that may be worth your expense. Are you paying a lot of money on events and not finding any leads? Maybe the people you are looking for are at the free events.  Whichever you choose, you have to make sure you are in the right room. What type of people are attending? Do they fit the client type you are looking for? Find out the answers to these questions, if you can, before going to an event. Do your homework, put in the efforts necessary when you find the right place to be and re-evaluate every so often. If you do these things, then in time, yes, you will see results.

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

The Guilt of Success

Kevin Willett says you should not feel guilty if you are doing the best you can.

Seems like lately things have been going my way. I love my part time teaching gig and apparently, they love me too as I have been offered a few more classes. My business is running smoothly with more people wanting to meet for coffee and discuss how we can work together. Life is good. Along with this success though comes the loss of time. I used to have more time to support other people’s causes, go to their events or just chat on the phone with them for more than 10 minutes. That makes people sad and it makes me feel guilty. No, I haven’t “changed” I am not “blowing you off” I am not whatever else you are thinking. I am balancing as best I can without getting stressed or burning myself out. Because if I am stressed or burnt out, I am no good to anybody. My day still starts at 4am and ends after 7pm. I fit in as much as I can for as many people as I can. My Friends understand this and support it. Those who cannot are probably not friends and are looking for my help without being willing to support me back. Have patience, be flexible, I will be there when I can.

Bottom line is, if you are going through this as I am, remember it is OK to say no. You can’t please everyone. You should not feel guilty if you are doing the best you can. Stay true to who you are and how best you can take care of yourself so you can keep doing what you are doing.  Your true supporters will understand and know you will help when you can.

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

Why Did You Post That?

Kevin Willett says online outbursts are never a good thing and can hurt your business.

Social Media is a power tool. It is also a great source of information. I was talking with a friend about trying to help struggling job seekers find work. Some of them are struggling because of the posts they do on social media. Posts about controversial topics like drugs, politics etc. could be potentially harmful in their job search. Some people are blatant and feel that they have a right to post whatever they want and anybody who doesn’t like it can stop reading and go away. What if the person that doesn’t like it is a potential employer? Now they have lost a job opportunity.

This works for business owners as well. Just as employers are scanning social media to find out what they can about potential employees, customers/business referral partners may be scanning to find out what they can about you before doing business with you. You may have a pristine business page but post a hateful rant about one topic or another on your personal page. If your personal page is accessible, you may just have hurt your business. Going negative or being controversial does not help your business. Yes, you have a right to your opinion. I believe that 1000%! But others have a right to be offended and choose not to do business with you. My best advice, tone it down on social media. Speak calmly and professionally if you have something you must say. Rants and negativity only come back to hurt you in the end. Need to get something off your chest? Talk to a friend, spouse or associate, not to potential unknown clients via the internet.

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

How Early Is Too Early

Kevin Willett agrees that a little effort goes a long way

I had a breakfast meeting the other day at 6:30am. That is really early for most folks. Me, I get out of bed at 4:00am every day, so not a big deal. That is when my Friend wanted to meet to discuss business, so I accommodated. One of the challenges I see with business owners is that they are not willing to change up their schedules or be flexible. I host morning networking events that start at 8:00am. Some people won’t come because they think that is too early. 8:30 or 9:00am would be better for them. Seriously? When I counter with the nighttime events from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, that is too late. They like to be home at night and chill in front of the TV. Huh?

Dealing with some businesses lately the topic of conversation is about not reaching their goals. They are wondering why. Well, not putting in the correct effort is part of the problem. If you are not willing to get out of bed a little earlier or stay out one night a month a little later, that could be your issue. You have to put in the effort! If you are not reaching your goals, ask yourself why. You might have to give something up (sleep, reality tv) in order to make it. Think of the connections you can make, the business you can grow and stop wondering why. Start making it happen!

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

The Health Club Effect

Kevin Willet knows that old habits die hard and new habits are hard to form in life and in business

I absolutely love January! Not just because it’s my birthday month and I get lots of cake and presents 😊, but because my networking event attendance is off the charts! I call this the health club effect. Just like we resolve to join gyms, get healthier, live a better life; businesspeople resolve to get out there, grow their business, network more. Unfortunately, as with our health resolutions, our business resolutions often go by the wayside. In order for either the gym or networking to be beneficial for you, you have to keep going! Old habits die hard and new habits are hard to form. Stay focused, make realistic expectations, and put it in your calendar. Do whatever it takes to keep going. This is best for you and best for your business. I hope to see all my January friends in March and beyond!

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events