Poor people look for work while rich people create network. The import of this statement might not hit you square between the eyes as it hit me until you understand what it means. Let me try to shed more light and hopefully share an insight that might be helpful in whatever venture you pursue.
For every entrepreneur who creates value in the form of a product or a service, He seeks to get it into the hands of those who need it with the belief of repeat patronage for as long as possible. In this sense, an idea without commercial intent is just creativity with no reward. Hence, the question he needs to answer is ‘how fast can i get a large number of people to see, check and finally purchase my product and/or service?’ The answer is by NETWORKING intentionally.
What is networking? This is a deliberate approach of connecting with the ideal kind of people that you need to impact upon or glean ideas from. It is a way of positioning yourself to leverage whatever opportunities that may become available over time. It is putting yourself in the flow of traffic of the kind of market you want for your venture. These definitions are not exhaustive but i guess you have an idea by now.
How can you do this? In practical terms, online and offline….
Networking offline is more like determining who your best contacts should be, find out where they are likely to be and simply be interested enough to connect with them. Check out what events are happening within the niche you may find them like industry events, seminars, club meetings and professional gatherings to mention a few. To network online is to approach the online community or space via social media platforms and forums; search for likely groups of your ideal contacts, connect with them and find out if they have need for what you have.
How do you get result with networking? First, what kind of result are you looking for? Connecting for leads, fund raising, angel investors, business partnerships etc. Once this is decided, you can design a tailor made elevator pitch to initiate a conversation and add a hook by asking questions leading to the benefits of your product or service. The responses you get will give you an insight to either continue with follow up or quit trying.
Networking is an art. It is to be practiced before mastery but I am sure these points will give you a good start and a platform to build on.