Saturday, April 23, 2011

10 Hours of Networking Per Week?

David's Note: I wrote this post, shared it with my friend Ilise, she posted it on her blog, and now I'm posting it on my blog. Ilise Benun runs Marketing Mentor (, a company that helps small businesses market and grow their business. Here's what Ilise wrote and then what I wrote!

David Makar from Referral Institute Ithaca was a guest on my recent Advanced Marketing Groupphone call. When asked how much networking people should be doing every week, he said 10 hours, which was very surprising to group members.

He went on to say, “This eliminates almost all the time I used to spend driving to prospects, meeting with cold prospects, writing proposals, replying to a lot of Q&A with prospects via email and phone, spending my billable time with the ‘wrong’ clients (who were not a good match for my services), and ‘free consulting’.”

Today, David shares how to transition to 10 hours of networking per week:

In our call we spoke about the number of hours per week that would be ideal for implementing a referral marketing plan. We mentioned the number of hours being 10 hours. That always seems like an overwhelming place to start. “Where am I going to find 10 hours each week? I’m too busy.”

Here’s a sample from my referral marketing plan, working to 40 hours of networking per month (10 hours per week):

BNI (Business Network Int’l) Meetings (7am – 9:00am) 8 hours
Networking @ Noon (Chamber) 1.5 hours
Pre or Post Networking @ Noon 1 to 1 1 hour
Small Business Council Meeting (Chamber) 1.5 hours
Ambassadors Council (Chamber) 1.5 hours
1 to 1 with Referral partners (4 primary, 2 hrs) 8 hours
1 to 1 with Referral partners (3 secondary, 1.5 hrs) 4.5 hours
BNI member 1 to 1’s (1.5 hours each) 6 hours
Business After Hours (Chamber) 3 hours (with drive time)Social media: facebook/Linked In (15 min. x 4 per wk) 5 hours (per month)

Of course this takes time to transition from a pure transactional business to a relational business. I’d say try to spend one less hour doing the transactional activities, and then one hour doing the relational activities. Perhaps plan a 10 week (or 10 month) schedule:

Week 1: 1 hour networking, 9 hours doing transactional work
Week 2: 2 hours networking, 8 hours transactional work
Week 3: 3 hours networking, 7 hours transactional work
Month 1: 1 hr/week networking, 9 hr/week doing transactional
Month 2: 2 hr/week networking, 8 hr/week doing transactional

Jumping in all at once isn’t likely to work – unless you are brand new in business, but even then – you may have to do some ‘prospecting’ work for the first 3 to 18 months as you build a referral network.

First Step: Join one organization (trade association for your target market, local chamber, BNI, or local service organization) and get involved by giving back to the organization and their members – start with just an hour a week.

In the Marketing Groups, I often invite experts as guest speakers. If you want to expand your horizons, the next Marketing Group starts the week of May 16th. Details here or fill out this form.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Event: NEXT GEN': The SEEN & Ithaca College

NEXT GEN': The SEEN & Ithaca College
Network for Success!
Thursday, April 21st, 7-9 pm, TC Lounge, Ithaca College
(14th floor, East Tower)
953 Danby Road (96B)
Ithaca, NY

Please join us Thursday during Earth Week for a special networking event with Ithaca College students, staff and faculty interested in sustainable enterprise. Members of The SEEN, and potential members, are encouraged to engage with each other over their experiences as entrepreneurs and opportunities to expand awareness of local green business. SEEN members also may find opportunities here to tap the student talent for internships and job recruitment.

Further, this event provides an excellent opportunity to connect with other members of The SEEN as well as potential supporters of your business and our network, all while sharing and gaining valuable insights.

As an added incentive, Ithaca College is providing catering for the event, and the cash bar and regular menu will be available upon request. So that we can give the planners a head count, please RSVP here for the event.

Please extend this invite to key contacts in your network, who may be interested in The SEEN and an opportunity to experience what we do. The SEEN grows in value as you grow your relationships!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Your Chamber is Your Goldmine: 5/4/11, 8am - 10am

Are you getting the most out of your investment of time and money in the Chamber? Networking is like mining for gold. You can strike it rich and find a vein, or end up with a few nuggets. Having Knowledge of referral marketing turns the casual networker into a power networker.

The next session is scheduled for:
Wednesday, May 4 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM
Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, Borg Warner Morse TEC Conference Room
Chamber Members: $25
Non-Chamber: $30

This session will help you:
- Effectively network to get more referrals.
- Interact with people in a way that builds positive word-of-mouth about you.
- Measure your time investment and return from the Chamber.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get the most out of your Chamber membership!

Speaking Engagement: The SEEN, 4/11/2011

April 11th, 2011, 5:30pm - 8:00pm, La Tourelle (1150 Danby Road, Ithaca, NY)
Details and seat reservations link:

Please join The SEEN for networking and a presentation on growing your sustainable enterprise by focusing on your relationships, facilitated by referral marketing expert David Makar, Referral Institute of Ithaca.

In this interactive workshop participants will learn how to add focus and structure to their networking activities, so they can have fun, meet and help people, and get the results they are looking for in their business. David Makar is a 7 year resident of Dryden, lifelong gardener, and owner of the Referral Institute of Ithaca.

The workshop will provide an opportunity to connect with other members of The SEEN, talk about your business, and gain value insights into your referral network. This is a great networking opportunity for you and your business contacts as well; invite a business contact, associate or friend along to further benefit from the experience. See you on April 11th!