In order for a business to be heard, it first has to be seen. That is where networking comes into play. What better way to be seen and heard that letting people know your business exists? This is why social media is such an obvious solution for letting people know what your business is and how it can help people.
The virtual connections you can make are endless and open up huge avenues of opportunity. It literally allows you to connect with people who you would never in a million years just happen to meet.
Virtual connections can change the entire spectrum of your business, but what happened to the in-person real life connections? Sitting behind a screen should only be a small portion of your business. At some point you have to be human and connect face to face with real individuals.
A great way to do that is slightly obvious at this point. You have to network! Real life networking and in person collaborations. I spend so much time behind the screen that meeting people in person is essential, not only to my personal sanity, but the growth of my business.
There are a few extremely essential points to take away from in-person networking. You are being given the opportunity to talk about your business and you are given people’s time. Both are extremely valuable. People show up to a networking meeting ready to listen and learn.
People who are networking want to hear about your business and how you can help them. The even better part is that they want to see if they can help you. If it is being done right, it is an equal partnership in building new relationships. Hello, collaborations.
Chances are if you don’t make an instant business connection with someone, they might know someone who will. Just reciprocate the love. Looking for some amazing ways to network? Here are 10 places, virtual and non-virtual, to get your network on.
1. Meetup.com- Awesome place to find fun groups in your area. You could even consider starting your own group!
2. The Rising Tide Society- A group of creatives who focus on learning and growing from each other along with service. If there is not one in your area, you could consider starting your own charter.
3. Professional Networking- BNI or Corporate Alliance are both national charters with professional business members. These people are dedicated to networking and it is very business oriented.
4. Facebook Groups- Join and mingle or create your own.
5. Mastermind Groups- Completely focused on a goal and supporting each other through it.
6. Women in Business (WIB)- great opportunity for like-minded women to network in a female oriented community.
7. Chamber of Commerce- Most chambers hold monthly meetings and have guest speakers. A great opportunity to not only learn something, but meet local businesses.
8. Volunteer- A great way to give back to the community and meet some new people.
9. Alumni Associations- Some schools have active associations that interact regularly.
10. Conferences- Not only do you learn a ton, but you also meet an insane amount of people. So many great relationships are formed at conferences.
Hopefully this list will get your mind turning about ways to network and meet new people. Let me know how you network in the comments below!