How to Network Like a Pro —Elevate Your Life, Mindset, & Business

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How to Network Like A Pro

by D'Arcy Benincosa

& Elevate Your Life, Your Mindset, and Your Business

We get a lot of advice when we start a business. From taxes to websites to work schedules, a lot of people have a lot to say. 

But what almost nobody talks about? How being a business owner can be so, so lonely.

Truly, working for yourself has so many benefits; I would never change it for anything. But, was I ever surprised in my first few years of business how LONELY I would be.

So often, when we run a business, we are hidden away in our home offices, working long hours, and we aren’t able to get the connection that we need. 

Whether you are just starting out in your entrepreneurial journey or a seasoned pro, I want to remind you how important it is for you to connect with other people, especially other people who have a similar mindset as you do. 

It is important for you personally. 

It is important for your business. 

And it is important for your creativity.

As a business coach for creatives, I am often asked how to connect with people and how to network like a pro. 

How to Network Like a Pro

Why Is Networking Important

First, why exactly is networking important?  

For the exact reasons I mentioned above.

It is important for you personally, for your business, and for your creativity.

To really expand your business, you need to learn how to network like a pro.

Personal Growth 

You’ve heard the phrase “no man is an island.” Well, it’s true. We are not meant to live in isolation. It isn’t how we are designed.

Connecting with others allows you to have more flow, more joy, and more friends. By connecting with others you are able to get out of your shell, have more experiences, and expand your mind.  

Business Expansion

As a business owner, it is important to connect with other people so you have more people flowing into your business. It just makes sense.  

The more you are in community with others, the more people will know who you are and the more referrals you get and give. And notice that I said give and get. As you network, make sure you don’t focus only on what you get. What you give is just as important.

Fuel Your Creativity.

Being around other people, other ideas, and other world-views is a great way to expand your own creativity. 

If you are only surrounded by like-minded people with no one encouraging you in your beliefs and ideologies, you will never be able to expand your mind and your creativity. 

How to Network Like a Pro

Now, let’s look at a few tips to teach you how to network like a pro, helping you connect with more people today.

Work on Yourself

Have you found yourself being lonely in your job or feeling down and out? It might mean that you aren’t spending the time getting to know yourself. 

Before you can really connect with others, the first person you absolutely must get to know is yourself. 

I heard someone say once that when you are feeling lonely it’s mostly because you are lonely from your true self. 

Start by asking yourself questions and really spend time answering them:

  • What is it that you want in life? 
  • Why (and how) do you want to connect with others?
  • Why do you want to run your business and what do you hope it brings to your life? 

These are questions that I ask a lot and they are crucial to understanding why you are doing what you are doing. 

You can start this process through journaling and meditation or by having a mentor, teacher, or counselor. 

One of my favorite practices is visualization. Sit down in a quiet, comfortable spot and really focus on what you want your life to look like. Look at what the difference is between where it is and what it actually is. How can you see yourself getting from where you are to where you want to be?  

By actively visualizing your goals, you are getting your body and mind ready for what your future holds, opening yourself up for all of the beautiful possibilities. 

Attend a Networking Event

Another way to connect with people is to attend networking events. It sounds really simple but most people don’t want to invest the money, take the time, or step out of their comfort zone enough to attend these events. 

I clearly remember one of my first large-scale networking events. It cost me $5000 to attend and then another $1000 for my plane ticket and hotel. It felt like so much money at the time. But, once I got to the event, I met so many amazing people—people that I am still in contact with today. These people became my mentors and friends, they encouraged me, helped me with my business plan, and gave me opportunities to reciprocate their kindnesses.  

From that one event, I booked three different jobs that grossed me around $30,000. So I invested $6000 to attend but my return was $30K. I consider that to be a pretty good return on investment. 

So definitely consider investing in some networking events. Maybe make it a goal to invest in one per year and see how it feels for you to be a part of a larger community like that. 

Volunteer

Volunteering may not seem applicable to you because you think you don’t have time or because you don’t see how it could help you or your business. But I am here to tell you that it can and you should.

I was sitting down with a singer-songwriter friend of mine the other day and she was telling me about a time when she was in Chicago and had some extra time each day. She decided she wanted to volunteer to sing at an inner-city retirement community. So, every day she took her guitar and went to sing with the residents, talking to them and keeping them company.  

And every day she got to know them better, hearing their stories and learning about their lives. Keep in mind this is inner-city Chicago and she was hearing stories about coming of age in Chicago in the early 1900s. It was unbelievable.  

Not only was she able to give back to these people with her singing but her interactions with them actually inspired new songs and a whole new album. They truly expanded the quality of her life. 

Volunteering will help you connect with other people in a united cause. It gets you out of your comfort zone, allows you to invest in something you are passionate about, and helps you give back to your community. 

This is definitely a different way to network like a pro but it is worth considering.

how to network like a pro

Go Global

So often we stay in our narrow little cities, only working in that one place, never knowing what we could really become outside of that city. 

When you go global—meaning you make friends and connections all over the world—you create a life that is so much bigger and so much more rich than you ever could have envisioned. 

Truthfully, I would rather have friends all over the world than a million dollars in the bank. That million dollars in the bank isn’t guaranteeing me anything. But having a global economy of people, people I can stay with, who can refer me for jobs, and who can expand the quality of my life, is priceless. 

When we have that global network we can start connecting with people all around the world.  

I have one connection in London that has referred me so much business that I now get to go every year. How amazing is that? I go to London every year and I make money—all because of friends that I have met, kept, and fostered. 

Meeting and keeping those connections is essential to creating a global business. 

Join a Mastermind

My final piece of advice is to join a mastermind. A mastermind is a group of individuals who give to learn, share, and grow in their businesses. 

Masterminds are an excellent way to network and form a community. I have been involved in several masterminds that have been transformative and life-changing and I highly recommend them to anyone who is serious about growth and community. 

I host several masterminds (Self-Made Mastermind) every year and would love to see if we would be a good fit. If you are serious about learning how to network like a pro, a mastermind would be a great consideration.

Do you want to go deeper into Play it Brave? And BIG? And BOLD? Come listen to the Play it Brave podcast and binge your way to a better business and a better life.

Want to up level your portfolio so that it screams elegance and luxury? And brings in a luxury paycheck? Check out my most popular course, The Profitable Portfolio and be on your way to $10k wedding clients.


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Not booking $10k+ weddings?

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A few of my favorite business tools:

CREATIVE LAW SHOP

Contracts, Privacy Policies, and more. Use code DARCYB10 for 10% off!

goodlight Presets

Struggle to match your digital to your film? You've met your match. Use code PLAYITBRAVE to get $50 off!

pic-time

Say au revoir to lazy galleries! Use code DARCY to get your first month free.

tonic site shop

Crappy website? Say no more. Get 20% off a template with code PLAYITBRAVE. You're welcome.

Learn my simple tweaks you can make that will have you attracting your dream clients with the portfolio you have TODAY.

free guide

Have no time to submit
to publications?

Don’t let your images gather dust on a hard drive – GET THEM SEEN (and gain street cred too).

free training

Not booking $10k+ weddings?

binge-listen

Play

It Brave

podcast

A few of my favorite business tools:

CREATIVE LAW SHOP

Contracts, Privacy Policies, and more. Use code DARCYB10 for 10% off!

goodlight presets

Struggle to match your digital to your film? You've met your match. Use code PLAYITBRAVE to get $50 off!

pic-time

Say au revoir to lazy galleries! Use code DARCY to get your first month free.

tonic site shop

Crappy website? Say no more. Get 20% off a template with code PLAYITBRAVE. You're welcome.

Have no time to submit to publications?

Don’t let your images gather dust on a hard drive – GET THEM SEEN (and gain street cred too).

free guide

Learn my simple tweaks you can make that will have you attracting your dream clients with the portfolio you have TODAY.

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