Masterful networking is at the heart of most successful businesses. Helping to solicit more business, build a supportive team, and encourage word-of-mouth referrals, the most important component of networking is, of course, new clients. Whether you’re tired of your existing strategies or are looking for new opportunities, amp your business by using these 7 places to network.
Meetup.com is a social networking site allowing you to find and join groups that align with your personal interests. Sports groups, foodie groups, newcomer groups, and book clubs are only some of the endless groups available through MeetUp. Not only can you use MeetUp to search groups, but you can also use it to start your own group.
If you already belong to an association (like the real estate board, sports leagues, or community associations), chances are they’ll require volunteers for their committees and event organizing groups. If you don’t belong to an association or are looking for something new, consider reaching out to local charities. Volunteer BC is a great place to start – use this link to explore volunteer opportunities near you.
Rotary Club Members, known as ‘Rotarians’, come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. They are a global network of over 1.2 million members. At Rotary Clubs, you can expect to meet a very diverse group of people who support a common cause.
Most communities have multiple Business Networking International groups restricting one type of professional per group. These groups are intended to increase business prospects, grow referral networks and offer professional development programs. Most groups meet weekly, providing each attendee a brief time to introduce themselves and what they do.
Create Your Own Networking Group
Form Your Own Networking Group with your existing network. Rather than spending time with colleagues in the same field/industry – reach out to those you know in different industries. Make an effort to invite one person from each field. Set a monthly lunch meeting.
Rather than visiting coffee shops haphazardly, consider being more strategic in where you go. Make a point of visiting the same shop regularly. Not only will you get to know the employees and management, in time, you’ll also bump shoulders with the other regular customers.
Attend a trade show and make an effort to meet people hosting booths. Alternatively, man your booth and make an effort to connect with those who visit yours. Offering a freebie can be an excellent way to start conversations and collect emails or other contact information for a future connection.