Networking for Success!
When I first opened my business in 1985 I lived in northern California. I was new to the area and in order to market my services I networked with others at almost daily face-to-face networking meetings. In Silicon Valley there were so many groups then that held breakfast, lunch, or dinner/evening meetings that I often had to toss a coin to determine where I would go to meet more people.
Obviously I chose meetings where I felt the audience would be interested in my services, however there were some meetings where I had to laugh at myself for having no idea what the speaker was discussing. I can truthfully say that each time I forced myself to attend a meeting full of strangers, I did benefit in some way or another, and my business was booming. Then I left town.
Since then I have relocated five more times, each time requiring me to start over with local clients. Each time I found networking meetings to attend so that I could meet people.
A few years ago I arrived in a destination where there are very few networking meetings, and not many people locally who are in my desired target market. My marketing focus now is at least 98% via internet, and the game is different.
Luckily there are numerous ways to network via internet. We are doing that right now. I’ve joined Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among other sites, where I can connect with people.
Well, times have changed. There are still live networking meetings, and the human-to-human contact is a very important way to attract clients, however when my local community doesn’t provide the demographics of my target market, then I can take that same time that I would normally spend at a live networking meeting and spend it connecting with people on a personal basis on-line. It is still a good use of time and I’m getting to know people on all of the social networking sites just by sharing information and striking up conversations. It is fun even though it is remote rather than live. I’m feeling supported by my new on-line community, and that feels just as good as it used to feel when I depended on my live community to support me.
So, look at the opportunities we now have to connect with others, and I invite you to utilize the local as well as internet opportunities whenever possible. It will keep you in the swing of your game – whatever it is!