A few days ago, I mentioned “leftover lovin'” networking, the basis of which is a lack of specificity in what you are seeking.

Let me be clear.

You will never be a truly effective networker until you can clearly state who you serve in the clearest, most detailed manner.

A good understanding of your target market underlies everything in networking.  At its simplest, it allows you to tell others whom you want to meet.  More than that, it will also help define to which groups you will belong, which meetings you will attend, even which networking activities you will pursue.

For example, if your particular target market is national in scope, is it going to make sense for you to look for them at your local Chamber of Commerce networking lunch?  Probably not.

If your clients are primarily construction companies, should you skip the city council meeting focusing on new zoning laws?  Not if you want to be perceived as a valued servant of the industry.

Spending your time working for a charity is wonderful.  If, however, you are doing it also as a networking activity, wouldn’t it make sense to know that your target market also feels a passion for the same cause?

We all have only 24 hours in the day.  Focusing our efforts to serve a specific group is the only way to make networking pay off in the long run.

So, what is your target market?