Networking is a requirement if you have your own business. I mean, it's not a law in the legal sense, but it almost should be.

Here is Secret #1: Be consistent.

Your networking needs to be consistent. That means you have several groups that you attend on a regular basis.

It may be tempting to only go network when you have a new product or service you want to promote but that will backfire on you. Others may notice that you only show up when you are selling something.

If you network on a regular basis you will form genuine relationships, which is the goal right? You want people to know, like and trust you over time. You want to nurture these relationships.

Being a sporadic networker will not serve you in your business.

Secret #2: Be organized & prepared.

I am amazed how many people come to networking events, big or small, without business cards. Please don't do that!

And spend an extra ten bucks to get good card stock. Flimsy, unattractive business cards do not present well, which is a reflection on you and your business.

I also collected a business card last week that was a beautiful color but the print was impossible to read, on both sides. When I looked at it the next day, going through my stack, I ended of throwing it in the trash because I couldn't even read the person's name.

Now, I shouldn't even have to say this but I need to. Look nice! Take the time to shower, fix your hair, do a little make up and put on clothes that complement you.

I am so amazed at how some women and men present themselves. Clearly they are at a networking event in order to meet people and showcase themselves and their businesses. Why wouldn't you put your best self forward?

You only have one chance to make a first impression.

Secret #3: Follow up.

Gathering business cards and coming home and tossing them in your desk draw means the time you spent getting ready, driving to the event and the time spent there was worthless.

You might send a short note on nice stationary if you met someone that looks like it has the potential to become a new client or a joint venture partner.

At the very least call or email. The chances of them answering the phone may be slim, but leave them a nice message about how nice it was meeting them.

An email is also fine, you may be able to start up a conversation and continue the relationship.

Another great way to nurture the relationship is to be their friends on Facebook, Invite them to connect via LinkedIn and Twitter. This is especially true if you are active on Facebook because your smiling face for each post will remind them who you are and what you do.

If you are not networking now, you need to be! Check out local chambers of commerce and Meet Up groups ( ) Pick 2 or 3 and attend on a regular basis, look great, bring your professional business cards and follow up within the next few days.

Author's Bio: 

Do you have the Moxie it takes to start and sustain a thriving coaching business? Find out at Kim Kirmmse Toth transitioned from 23 years as Licensed Clinical Social Worker to building a high 5 to 6 figure coaching business while enjoying her free time doing the things she loves. If you are a savvy woman (or even gentleman) and a heart-centered solopreneur who wishes to grow an exceptional, heart based on-line business, let Kim show you the way at