Community Networking & Donating Yourself

Donating time, money or product is necessary to keep in tandem with your community networking.

community networking and focusing on company branding through donations

A community is a group of people with common interests and unique, shared values.

A general definition of community typically appears as a group of people with diverse characteristics who are linked by social ties, share common perspectives and engage in joint action in geographical locations or settings.

Networking is the bringing together of like minds for a like purpose.

Having a supportive system of sharing and exchanging information and services among individuals, groups or institutions that have a mutual interest better defines networking. Specifically, it is the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business. It is fundamental to note that networking is also an active development of these current business relationships.

Donations help those around us to feel like they belong and bring to aid to those in need.

Commonly used as a gift for charity, humanitarian aid or to benefit a cause, donations can benefit not only the receiver but also the giver. These donations may take various forms, including money, alms, services or goods such as clothing, toys, food or transportation services.

But, what do those three things have in common?

Let’s turn to the relationship you find when you look at Coller Industries Incorporated and the Granite Education Foundation (GEF). For nearly 10 years, the relationship between these two companies has been a stable feature in many lives. From recognizing outstanding teachers and other educators to winning over the hearts of students in the Salt Lake Valley, Coller Industries’ reach into the Granite School District is felt by many. And not only felt, but appreciated in a plethora of ways.

Yes, this relationship is primarily built on product and monetary donations. However, it is also formed on trust and fellowship. From name tags for school events to money for shoes and coats for students in the school district, everything Coller Industries gives to the Granite Education Foundation builds into a network of creating community understanding. This understanding reaches far beyond what even we could initially see.

Creating Community Understanding

Understanding the community concept teaches that no matter the setting, there are things which must be done to keep it healthy. These insights are supported and managed by people feeling that they belong somewhere. And this comes with accepting each other and the diversity of those around you. This community understanding makes us responsible for those around us. In turn, this community responsibility not only aids those in need, but it assists everyone influenced by any actions in that community.

Donations are one way that makes us more responsible in our community. And, building trust in our community is not only a requirement but also the best way to maintain any community. This is why we, as a company, are always looking to help out in our neighborhood and surrounding areas. And what better way than in our local schools. The Granite Education Foundation manages the school district where our office is located. Its reach, however, is so much farther. And, by partnering and networking with the GEF, we can extend our reach as well.

Here’s to Thank Yous

Every year the GEF sends Coller Industries tokens of the student’s appreciation for our donations. These wonderful expressions of thankfulness have touched all of us here at Coller Industries. And, in turn, we want them to reach out into our community so that everyone can see the benefits of community networking.

valentines from our community of students in the Granite Education Foundation

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Granite Education Foundation and students from across the district wanted to express a heartfelt thanks for all you do. Enclosed you will find hand-made Valentine’s Day cards our students created with YOU in mind. Thank you for being a part of our last 30 years, and we look forward to spending many more with you.

Yours truly,

The Granite Education Foundation Team

 

Seeing these simple expressions of gratitude helps us to understand what these continued donations provide for our community. And, they also help us to know where we can make more of an impact. Although our brand reaches out in our community and networks with other companies, it is crucial that we focus on the humanity of these donations.

This expression of gratitude gives us the opportunity to learn from other businesses and continue to grow and maintain our networking experiences. And, through this networking in our community, we can show how to sustain a positive business culture of quality and understanding. Networking is vital to this development. We are continually working with our customers to retain and develop working relationships through other donations means as well.

Bringing Community into Networking

By reaching into our community and taking part in networking opportunities for organizations like the GEF, we can see how much our brand resonates in others. We also find how our brand reflects in our community.

One of the most important benefits of networking that people tend to overlook is that it allows you to help other people. Granted, our motives in the professional world are rarely altruistic, but helping someone else with their career goals can be truly rewarding.

By finding and networking within your community, you can become a trendsetter and an industry leader. And, isn’t that what every business desires? To take a lead and direct their community should be every entrepreneur’s dream and goal. So, by donating time, money or product to your community, you are not only giving someone a hand up in life, but you also help your brand. While this may seem a little selfish at first, these donations help sustain the growth and reach of your community. So, don’t take these business relationships for granted. Use them to support yourself while helping others.

Improving your reputation and finding support are also benefits of networking.

If you are successful at networking, you might get a reputation for being a person people will want to talk to and get to know. A good reputation leads to support. You may have valuable information, ideas, and resources those in your network may need. Establishing your desire to assist a colleague increases your credibility. The important thing to remember about networking is the growth you will experience by putting yourself “out there” and taking steps to improving yourself and your organization.

By donating to the Granite Education Foundation and helping them with their needs, we benefit the lives of countless children. In turn, this helps each student’s family retain their position in their neighborhood. And that’s only the beginning of the chain. By paying our efforts forward, and nourishing our networking relationships, we are cultivating our community. We also set higher standards for those around us.

And this is how businesses thrive. So, by donating in your community, your networking experiences flourish, and your business grows. Commit to your business quality and brand all while helping those around you by this simple method: donations.

Best Branding Practices for All Businesses

First things first, what is BRANDING?

Definition: BRANDING – a particular product or a characteristic that serves to identify a specific product, a trade name or trademark, or a particular kind or variety.

Let’s break it down a bit farther to make it a little easier. The act of branding is the process involved in creating a unique name or image for a product, person or idea. Most people and companies accomplish branding through advertising and other similar means. It is also the action of building a convincing individual or unique presence in a consumer market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

There are two types of branding: personal and corporate.

make the most out of your branding by using your logo and name on all identification

Personal branding is the process of individual marketing, or advertising, themselves or their career as a unique image, or brand. It is in effect the ongoing practice of building up an image or uniqueness about themselves to others around them. A personal brand often involves the use of someone’s name on various marketing products.

Thomas Peters, an American writer on business management practices, said, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding.”

Corporate branding is the process of promoting the logo and brand name of a company or corporation for marketing and advertising purposes. Typically the range of a corporate brand is extensive and is a way to express the company’s ideals and goals.

Whether personal or corporate, a brand is essential to anyone who wants to stand out from those around them. Corporations typically have a logo designed while individuals must promote their names as a logo.

Your brand is how people perceive you wherever they interact with your business, both the impressions you can control and the ones you can’t.

When you think about it, people have brands too. We each have a name, a face, a style, a way of communicating, different impressions we make on different people, and what they say about us when we’re not in the room.

Likewise, businesses have names, products, logos, colors, fonts, a language, and reputations to manage that make up who they are and affect how they’re perceived.

You can’t build a brand without being consistent and maintaining that consistency as you extend your brand to every part of your business. But it all starts with establishing what that consistency is going to look like and the feeling you want it to evoke.

Branding Your Business

Your company’s brand is what you are, what you want to be and what you aim to become. This brand can be a promise of product quality or trust in a service. Remember, a brand is what makes your company unique. Your branding should make your company stand out from all of your competition. It should let your consumers know what they should expect from your products or services.

So, in layman’s terms, corporate branding is the process of promoting the logo and name of a company for marketing and advertising purposes. Branding helps to expand a business and get the word out about the company’s goal.

Branding is the most important part of your business, whether it be large or small. Building a strong brand helps your company not only be financially stable, but memorable. And, by being memorable, your brand will draw in more and more customers just by word of mouth.

Starting With the Right Tools

Name tags and name badges provide necessary company branding. This branding is vital for all of your marketing needs. It distinguishes you from your competition and helps others to recognize your quality more readily. By using logos on name tags, you create a focus to help drive your business.

But, don’t limit yourself to just your name tags. Don’t forget that signage and other identification products are there to help advertise your brand. From custom lanyards to award plaques and everything in between, get it personalized with your logo! And then start spreading the word.

Creating Consistency With Your Brand

use matching colors and consistency with logos in branding your companyYour logo represents not only you and your company but also your brand and overall commitment to your clients and customers. And creating consistency by adding your logo to everything you personalize (from name tags to corporate gifts), lets people know you’re proud of what you stand for.

Consistency in logo use will make your brand an industry leader.

From colors to logos, consistency matters. So, using name tags, name badges and other personal identification items will establish your brand. And finding the right consistency with logos, colors and fonts helps to solidify your message. By defining what your brand is up front, you help establish your company as an industry leader. And making sure that your logo balances your brand at the top can be quite the process.

using name plates and custom shape name tags for consistency in your brandingOh, and make sure to use the same colors for all of your logo work. Find a way to keep your logo and text the same on all name tags and name plates. If your office uses signage, make sure to include the proper colors and consistency. A company who ensures that their brand is well developed will retain and obtain connections with their clients and customers.

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.

Networking & Getting Your Brand Noticed

First things first, what is networking?

Networking is key to your branding strategyNetworking is a supportive system of sharing and exchanging information and services among individuals, groups or institutions that have a mutual interest. Specifically, it is the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business. It is fundamental to note that networking is also an active development of these current business relationships.

Think for a moment. What does good networking look like? How do people act while networking? What are their attitudes? Most people would agree that a good networker is sincere, friendly and outgoing, supportive and a good listener. It isn’t just about staying in touch. It goes beyond that. A good networker is someone you want to trust and be friends with.

A business network is a type of social network which is developed to help business people connect with other managers and entrepreneurs to further each other’s business interests by forming mutually beneficial business relationships. Several prominent business networking organizations create models of networking events that, when followed, allow the business person to build new business relationships and generate business opportunities at the same time. A professional network service is an implementation of information technology in support of business networking. Chambers of Commerce and other business-oriented groups may also organize networking activities.

So, how do you apply yourself to the networking mantra?

Here’s the scenario: “You have just arrived at your weekly, cookie-cutter networking event, and after walking up to the registration table, you proceed to search across a sea of identical plastic name badges with tiny print for the one with your name and company printed on it. You’ll affix this name tag to your shirt at the least awkward angle you can finagle, and proceed into a crowded room of people all arching their necks to scope out the people worth chatting to while trying not stare at someone’s chest for too long. And most likely many have chosen to position the name tags to be hidden in the folds of jackets or flipped around entirely making them impossible to read. Good luck with that one.”

And, whether you are wearing a name tag for an event or work every day, chances are you don’t realize the impact which you are making. In social settings, name tags can level the playing field. They are also free advertising for your company. And, they inspire people to be more approachable.

using name tags for networking and branding should include your name and titleWe’re here to offer a perfect solution with a particular product line which facilitates networking and promotes making those meaningful connections. For many people, the idea of wearing a name tag evokes the stale idea of the epic “Hello, my name is…” variety you might find at an awkward mixer or high school reunion. But a name tag is a valuable tool and, when used in fresh and creative ways, it can be a useful tool in helping people interact with each other.

But, more importantly, we are here to offer support and trusted services to help you in your networking efforts.

Many businesses use networking as a key factor in their marketing plan. It contributes to developing a strong feeling of trust between those involved and plays a big part in raising the profile and brand of a company. Suppliers and businesses tend to source business and suppliers through their existing relationships. These relationships tend to be open, random and supportive, while those relying on hierarchical, traditionally managed approaches are closed, selective and controlling.

Networking in 3 Easy Steps

Step One: Always wear your name tag. It’s the key to great networking.

A name tag reminds you to be open and honest. You can’t hide behind it. And, it gets you to network, to put yourself out there, and to make new friends. It gives you the opportunity to brand yourself, your image, and your company, with honesty and trustworthiness.

Laser Engraved Plastic name tags are perfect for branding with your logo for networkingYour name tag is your best friend for several reasons. A person’s name is the first thing that most people forget upon the first meeting. Without the aid of a name tag, people are less likely to approach if they don’t know or have forgotten your name.

Consider all of the commitment you have access to when wearing a name tag. Networking isn’t easy, but when you are willing to put yourself out there, others around you are apt to feel more at ease and will connect better and more frequently.

Step Two: The most important thing is to get your brand noticed.

Networking only works when you use your name tags correctly with logos, titles and names. Your name tag reflects who you are and humanizes you to others. Most people tend to judge on first impressions, especially when everyone in the room is a stranger. But, if you have a way to make yourself stand out, your brand will become recognizable. And, it helps to make others more at ease around you.

If name tags are provided at an event, use them. Don’t be a name tag snob. They are there to make greeting others easier. They reduce possible awkward moments and help you remember names gracefully.

Step Three: Talk to others and, as always, wear your name tag.

It will help you be fearless. Wearing a name tag in a room full of strangers is an invite for people to talk to you, and for you to talk to people. You don’t need someone to introduce you, so be fearless and take networking into your hands.

And remember that networking only works when you use your name tags correctly with logos, titles and names.


Business Networking

“It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know,” is an ideal we all strive to make work for our companies. Business networking is the low-cost, effective way of utilizing this expression. LinkedIn is an excellent example of this. It is a great marketing method for developing business relationships to gather sales and contacts.

The definition of network in itself reminds us that it consists of connecting lines, like a railway or canal system, which run in different directions. Especially when it comes to a business network, these lines are crucial, and without them, this system no longer exists. These lines, commonly referred to as a relationship or communication, are the most important thing to maintain a network. If you don’t have a good set of contacts, a network will fail. And a good network is created, and networking succeeds, by the application of hard work.

Networking with Name Tags

networking with name tagsLanyards, name tags, reusable badges and even signs are useful tools for any conference or convention.

And the corporate event name tag is one detail that has been overlooked too much. For years people have been dealing with this awkward situation over and over again at event after event. As such, setting the stage is just as important as attending a conference or networking event. However, there are many roadblocks along the way.

Still not convinced? Here are some creative ways to use any name tag or reusable badge to help eliminate this awkwardness.

Try omitting titles and company names. Use this as an effort to associate people more with what they love to do, or excel at, than what they do for a living. Focus on the individual.

Move beyond the work domain. Try using reusable badges with a catchphrase or other conversation starter to get people to mingle.

Incorporate a theme. It doesn’t matter what the theme is, just as long as it is geared toward getting people flowing through the masses and making those necessary connections.


Daily Networking Tips:

Remember your business cards. Start carrying business cards with you everywhere. Keep some in your wallet or purse, your car and in your pocket. Take your cards to the gym, the grocery store and even to parties. You never know who you will meet or be able to talk with. And, if you don’t have your business cards with you, an opportunity may be missed.

Join new groups. From book clubs to civic organizations, networking opportunities are everywhere. So, find a new group in your area, or stretch yourself into new areas. But, no matter what, get yourself out there. Make sure to join groups that will benefit from what you have to offer. Don’t just participate in a group because you think it sounds fun. Join somewhere that gives you back what you can give in return.

Give and get back. Networking is a two-way street. When most people network, they expect something in exchange for their contact information. Sometimes it’s as simple as an information exchange. Other times, they expect time or goods in return. And most often, they expect their business to grow. Make sure to follow up with new contacts and keep sharing information with them, and you’ll see that your effort is returned.

Be friendly and approachable. Pretend you are hosting the event. Make people feel welcome. Find out what brought them there, and see if there’s any way you can help them. Introduce them to others, make business suggestions or give them a referral. Not only will you probably make a friend, but putting others at ease eliminates self-consciousness. A side benefit: What goes around comes around. If you make an effort to help others, you’ll soon find people helping you.

Event and Convention Networking:

Set a goal. Whenever attending a meeting, convention or another event, set a goal for yourself to meet new people. With this goal in mind, greet people you have never seen before. Make it a habit to be open and welcoming to everyone. Not only will people start recognizing you, but your contact list will grow, and networking will become easier for you.

Other goals that you can set for your events include: keeping up on industry trends, connecting with peers, and looking for new business opportunities. Focus on these goals throughout the entire conference, and you’ll see your network start to grow.

Put yourself out there. Don’t sit by those you know. Find someone sitting alone and introduce yourself. Make sure you extend yourself to those around you, no matter their station or occupation. The chances are that if you’re at the same event, you’re looking for some of the same information.

If you are attending a multiple day event, sit with someone new every day. Or switch it up after breaks. Get to know as many people as you can. Be that person who exchanges information, and you’ll see that your approachability will expand. And from that, your business will flourish.

Be a leader. Don’t just attend your next conference. Get out there and get involved. Become a board member or join a committee. Volunteer your time and talents at your next event. Not only will this get you noticed by the event planners and hosts, but it will also provide those around you with the opportunity to see you lead.

Being a leader is a step to doing better business. Those who can lead stand out to others, and through this your business will not only flourish, but it will grow. Your network will expand. This also gives you a reason to reach out to others. It gets you involved and provides others a way to also get involved.

Networking isn’t always easy.

You have to extend yourself and be a leader. You may make a few mistakes as you get started, but that shouldn’t deter you. Just keep trying, and you’ll find it easier and easier to reach out and grow your contacts. And don’t forget, it’s important to remind yourself that without your contacts, your business wouldn’t be what it is now. But most importantly, remember that your contact has given you a gift. It’s the gift of communication and networking. This gift is truly the gift that keeps on giving.