Making Time for Networking
From Facebook to Meetup networking matters
So many of us are online these days which is why it makes sense to use the internet to help with networking. Facebook groups are super popular because they bring people with similar situations and interests together.
Business Facebook groups can be super helpful for networking. I’ve found everything from client leads and helpful advice to partnership opportunities and online events via networking with others in Facebook groups.
It’s pretty easy actually. While Facebook can be a huge time waster, set an alarm or time limit for how long you want to network in the group. If you only have 10 minutes per day or 30 minutes per week, work with what you have.
Answer questions in the group, post questions of your own, connect with other members on social media and make note of the resources that are mentioned. Who knows, you may find someone in the group who you’d really like to work with so you can develop a mutually beneficial relationship.
Join a Meetup
Joining Meetup was one of the best things I could have done when I started working from home. It was lonely and I still wanted to be able to meet other people and build connections.
Meetup is a free site that allows you to join local networking groups, commonly referred to as ‘meetups’, based on your interests. There are meetup groups for moms, couples, running enthusiasts, dog lovers, and professionals. There is often a wide variety of meetup groups for professionals so they can network and help build each other’s businesses.
I once joined a local meetup for self-employed professionals in the area and another for people who wanted to improve their public speaking. The great thing about the site is that if you don’t see a meetup that interests you, you can create your own.
There is a small fee to do this, but you can also charge participants a small amount of ‘dues’ to help you run and host the meetup group.
One of my favorite ways to get a ton of networking done all at once. Traveling for a conference and taking multiple days off can be hectic so I only usually attend one conference per year.
I make the most of it, however. I attend the conference to learn and apply new things to my business, but I also leave plenty of time for networking as well.
There are plenty of opportunities to network at the conference I attend as well as events specifically set up to help attendees meet clients. With a conference, preparation is always the key.
Networking can be a great way to grow your business. If you work remotely, networking can also allow you to mingle and communicate with others so you can build more relationships.
You can develop some solid connections via networking whether you’re looking for a business partner, event sponsor, or a new dedicated team member.
The only potential downside of networking is that it can take a lot of time up between scheduling events, meeting people, and building a relationship. Networking is one of those unpaid tasks that you have to prioritize and make time for if it will help your business grow.