The Internet is rife with marketers hawking client attraction systems to solopreneurs aka home-based business owners. The formulas vary a bit, but generally these programs teach that you should build your database (your cash cow) by distributing an ezine, conducting teleseminars (free and paid), and providing a free report as an inducement for people to subscribe to your ezine.
There is nothing inherently wrong with these suggestions. They are indeed valid ways to market, promote, and sell your products/services. Unfortunately they won’t work alone—the missing link is networking. You’ll probably only be marginally successful if you don’t get out and meet people. What most of the client attraction gurus fail to tell their followers is that networking was critical to them finding the mentors, information and resources that they needed to build their six- and seven-figure businesses. I like networking as much as I like going to the dentist. I loathe intentional mingling and the awkward conversation that usually accompanies it. I’m also not a fan of people pushing their business cards on me or suggesting a joint venture when they can barely pronounce my last name. However for the sake of my business I’m diligently working on improving my networking skills. Despite the popularity of Twitter and Facebook most people still prefer to meet face-to-face at conferences, conventions, seminars, and cocktail parties, happy hours.
I was glad to come across LaToya Petersen’s article, “But … I’m Too Shy to Network” in online magazine Jezebel.com. She advocates re-framing networking—think of it as looking for potential friends rather than hunting down potential business contacts. She also provides some really good tips about how to initiate and maintain new relationships.