Enough about how, where should I network?

The off-handed answer is to network where your target market and any potential referral sources hang out.  I certainly can recommend a really new and cool website that connects business profe…ok sorry.

I for one have about three or four networking activities that I participate in.  Keep in mind that I do some of them in moderation in order to make the best use of my time.  Also not every city will have these type of networking groups but hopefully they will have something similar.  Lastly, some of these groups have yielded customers but the majority are to network with potential referral partners.

Chambers of Commerce

Chambers are great for making contacts en mass.  They are also good PR.  The two issues I see with Chamber events are that it is hard to make deep connections in groups and that the events are not usually attending by company executives.

Community Clubs (i.e. Rotary, Kiwanis)

Again, great public relations and feel good benefits.  However these groups actually discourage networking between members strictly for business purposes.  That being said this does tend to be a place where higher level executives appear.

Referral Groups

In my area there are plenty of what some call “leads groups”.  I would call most of them leads groups.  There are a few referral groups.  The difference is that true referral groups involve third party introductions to prospects.  Not just a name and number to call on.

I have been involved in Business Network International for almost four years now.  So, yes, my opinion is a little biased.  So do me a favor and visit one for yourself.  Maybe it’s right for you and maybe you aren’t right for it.

The challenge is that you will be networking with the same group of people every week of the year.  This is also it’s strength.  By constantly networking with the same people you build deep relationships.

Social Media

You can’t avoid it anymore.  Get involved.  The beauty of social media is that you can participate while in your pajamas.  My struggle is that sooner or later you have to meet people in person in order to build a deep connection.

So where do you network?  I could use some fresh tips.

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About Jonathan Patrick

GoGrabLunch.com connects like-minded business professionals over face to face, one on one appointments based on each member's preferences.

Posted on December 15, 2010, in Networking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You forgot trade associations. I learn a lot and get lots of referrals from mine – The Society for Technical Communication. My Go Grab Lunch partner this week is a coach, and he belongs to several organizations for coaches.

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