The Edmonton Entrepreneur Meetup Group Message Board › Networking in Edmonton
Networking can be done in a few different ways. As an organizer of one meetup group and a co-organizer of another meetup group (recently stepped down) I can safely say that 90% of the members do not know how to network properly. First, there are those that come to meetings and only talk with one or two people. Which is fine if the first two people you talk to happen to click with you and you know you can do business together. Otherwise you should try and chat with everyone that is at the function.
Second, we would get 60 to 70 members at one meeting then 40 to 50 at the next meeting and then maybe 50 to 60 at another meeting. Sounds great, but only about half of these attendees of each meeting would come to another meeting. This means that if everyone would come to all three of those meetings we would have had about 120 members at each meeting.
So what you say?
Here is something to think about, those that came out and did not come back were expecting to get business from the others that were there that night. And when that did not work out they did not bother coming back a second time.
Networking is about building relationships with others.
Sure you might come out and pitch someone and get some business, but wouldn’t it be better if you really got to know the other members? I mean to the point where you go for coffee one on one. You see, when this happens you have built trust with this person. You have also shared with this person all of what you do in your business and vice versa. Once this happens if someone they know is looking for a service you provide then your new contact knows and trusts you enough to say ‘I know someone that can help you with that’.
By networking in this fashion you have now changed the size of your network from 100 or so contacts to 10,000 or more contacts.
Think this could work for you? Well, think about the weekly paid networking services that are out there. They have rules like, you must show up every week or get kicked out. You must be scouting for referrals for other members each week or pay a small fine. You must stand up at each meeting and tell the whole group what you do for business and your ideal client.
These groups are able to help each member in the group because you get to know each member after just a few short months. Everybody is out scouting for the other members and this is easy for you and for them as you all know each other fairly well in a short period of time.
What about the free meetup type events? Can it work there? Yes, as long as you participate.
What about online networking? Can it work there as well? Of course, as long as you participate.
How can this work online for you and your business?
Participate in conversations by posting and commenting frequently. This gets you seen by other members on a daily basis, or more…
Step up and ask questions about how you can help others or if there are any others in the group that can help you with your business…
Give great, free advice about something that is related to your business that will benefit others in the group and bring you to the top of their mind if they hear one of their contacts could use a service like yours…(that was a mouthful lol)
Currently our online group has 90 members, but that means we have a combined network of around 20, 000 people…Know the other members to help them with their business and it will come back to you…
Invite others that are in your network. You never know who they will invite that can help you later on…
In all cases with networking (online or traditional offline) you need to follow up or follow through with the people you meet. If you are a financial planner and see there is a mortgage broker in the group you might be able to work closer together and build a relationship outside of the networking group. The same would be true of someone that services houses and someone else that services houses but not in a competing fashion. These are a form of joint ventures…but that will be discussed further in another article.