As a local business owner, making connections can seem like a daunting task. It takes time. It involves putting yourself “out there.” It means a lot of follow-up. But networking doesn’t have to be such a chore. Kevin E. Fox, an expert networker, shared his advice with us on how to market your business by paying it forward. Helping others, along with not only making connections, but making the right connections are a big part of his networking strategy. Kevin oversees the strategic direction of the Young Buckeyes of Phoenix Alumni Club, an organization for fans and alumni of Ohio State University. He is also sales manager for BridgeStreet, a provider of residences, serviced apartments, and suites.

How To Pay It Forward

  • Take the time to revisit past connections. Things change so quickly and it’s important to stay up-to-date on their happenings.
  • Be a genuine resource for people. Become a problem solver and an expert in your field.
  • Stay on top of industry news and current events. This provides you with great conversation material and shows that you have depth.

Kevin’s Story on How He Helped Others

“I attended a Meet Your Neighbors event hosted by the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce and was standing at the front entrance with a fellow small business owner, joking about the lack of space and the great turnout of people.

We had the typical networking event conversation – filling each other in on what we did for a living and exchanging cards at the end of the conversation. Nothing really concrete, just making a basic connection.

After every event that I attend, I typically look up my new connections on LinkedIn and send brief follow-up messages thanking them for their time and conversation. I noticed that this particular business owner was connected to a large number of my connections.

We were never able to get on each other’s calendar, so a follow-up meeting didn’t happen right away. But through social media, we were able to stay in touch. Recently I noticed that she had started a charity related to a condition that she was fighting. So, I followed up with her to see how I could help.

A little while later, I learned that her attorney and business partner was a huge Ohio State fan. With her help, I scheduled a time to meet with the business partner. Since then, we’ve uncovered more mutual connections and have identified a new business opportunity.”

How To Market Your Business Takeaway:

Always stay connected to your connections and be willing to offer your help on their causes. You never know where a connection could lead.

Ready for more networking success stories? Be sure to download our free e-book, How to Network: 5 Stories You’ve Gotta Read.

Image courtesy of Littlelixie

Read More: Helping Others Helps Your Business