Today we have the opportunity to network both online or offline. It’s easy to meet people on Twitter, Facebook, and Linked from all over the globe. If you have a local business is also important be networking in person to make sure that you are meeting people who can spread the word about your service to their friends and families.
For the past 7 years running my pet sitting business part time and working a 8-5 job, in person networking was always a frustration for me because most meetings were in the morning or at lunch times and I just couldn’t make it to the meetings and back to work in time. Even if you are in the same situation you can still get out in the evenings or on weekends and meet people through meet up groups and local pet rescues. These can be great places to have fun with you pets, make new friends, and be able to build a local network of pet loving contacts.
Since I’ve had more time I have pursued other networking opportunities and one of the first places I chose to try out was 2 of my local Chambers of Commerce. I joined up at the Southlake and Grapevine chambers and have been trying out their weekly or bi-weekly leads groups, ribbon cuttings and mixers. These have been great for business! I’ve not only met new people but have also:
When you get started networking jump in and try out as many local networking groups as you can find. Your local chamber of Commerce is a great start and will allow you to find out about other smaller networking groups. Once you have tried out a few groups decide which ones you are most comfortable with and that will benefit you the most and decide to join the groups and commit to visiting 2-3 events each week.
When you go to a networking meeting :
After the meeting make sure you follow up with the people you meet by sending an email, requesting to have a coffee or lunch so that you can learn more about their business, or sending a card.
Be on the lookout for people you meet that may value the services of the other people in your networking groups and make referrals. These referrals will come back around to you – when you help people grow they will naturally want to help you!
Where do you network? Which types of groups have you found the best contacts with? What have you gained from networking?