In your fitness career, networking is one of the most important investments you can make. Best of all, networking isn’t complicated. It can be as easy as going out with your friends on the weekends or hosting a dinner party. Social functions where you meet new people will always be worth your time. Here are a few of my best tips to help you harness the power of networking for your fitness career.
You’re Never Too Busy
With a full schedule of clients and other commitments you may have in life, it can be difficult to find the time to go out and make connections, but it’s going to be worth it. That’s why you should push yourself to socialize and go to events. You never know where an opportunity will arise that can help you get your name out there and pick up more business.
I remember a few years ago I went to a baby shower for a client. I fell into a conversation with a man about what I did for a living, a conversation that ended with him taking my business card. He didn’t call me right away, but two years later I got an email from him and he became a client. Understand that networking isn’t always going to be an instant win, but it will always be worth it.
Keep Business Cards on You
In my book, Your Fitness Career, I discuss the importance of developing your own brand and materials for your own promotion – including business cards. You need to make sure you have business cards with you all the time. Even a trip to the grocery store can turn into an opportunity to garner new business with a simple conversation and the exchange of business cards.
Grow Your Social Circle
You should not turn down attending an event that interests you. These events don’t even have to be networking by definition, but the more you can practice being social and working to expand your social circle, the more comfortable you’ll become and the easier it will be to meet new people.
No matter the event, one of the most asked questions is what you do for a living – and that’s your opportunity to dazzle people with your knowledge and professionalism. You’re not there to give a sales pitch, but you are there to raise awareness about what you do as you make new friends and acquaintances.
Practice Your Elevator Pitch
It will pay to have a prepared elevator pitch when you’re out. An elevator pitch is simply a way to sum up what you do and who you are in less than three sentences – a pitch you could give in an elevator. It should be short, intriguing and to the point, but still authentically you. I’ve found that having something prepared to say about myself that feels natural when saying it helps to reduce anxiety when talking in public about what I do.
Networking is an important aspect of your fitness career. You never know where opportunities will lead and that’s what is so exciting about it! Remember, the bigger your social circle, the better it is for you both personally and professionally.
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