I enjoy visiting and eventually becoming a member of local networking groups. They have been very beneficial to my business and I’ve picked up several clients that I would not have picked up if I concentrated only online networking. It isn’t just about making the connections, its about meeting people that I would never have had met if I didn’t get out and network.
My favorite networking group is Network of Enterprising Women (NEW). I’ve been a member since I started my business and spent three years as their Secretary on their board. This group of women are the best! I’m currently pursuing NAWBO – Richmond. I’m sure I will join them, but I want to attend one more meeting.
I won’t get into what to look for in a networking organization because it’s really up to you to determine if the organization is a fit for your and your business. Attend, socialize, hand out business cards, and more socialize. Enjoy a nice brunch or lunch while there too.
I will recommend prior to attending any networking organization or event meeting is create a 30-second pitch. I wish I had known that at my very first meeting with NEW. I truly floundered. Read my blog on the 30-second pitch. Today I create one every meeting and I do a different one each time. Keeps it fresh and brings in a new topic, subject, skill that I didn’t have the last time or need to mention.
Another thing, dress nice. Many venue locations say NO jeans or tennis shoes. That doesn’t bother me because I enjoy dressing up this one or two times during the month. It’s the one chance for me to look good in presenting my business.
Get out there. Get out of your house. Meet people face to face and promote your business more than you would if online only.
How do you network? Are you willing to step outside and network locally?