business coach, business growth, results, business strategy

Do you remember the day of doom that both Facebook and Instagram went down for most of the day and the world lost its collective mind? Panic ensued for those who are 100% reliant on these platforms for their business. Were these platforms gone for good?  While the platforms did finally come back up, this is exactly why networking, and making connections outside of social media, is so important.

 

Getting back into networking is important now more than ever.

I know when COVID happened, there was a lot of in-person networking that couldn’t take place. It probably seems so old school to network in person, especially if you’re building your business online. But the online space has offered a creative solution to networking.  Now, there are so many online networking groups that you can take advantage of. So how do you network effectively in these types of groups?

 

Be ACTIVE in your networking groups.

There’s a difference between joining a networking group and doing nothing, and joining a networking group, and actually making it your mission to talk to as many people as possible. I recently joined a women only online networking group called The Advance Networking Group. It’s not industry specific. There are women from different areas of business in this group. 

A good majority of my most recent clients have come from that networking group. But I did not join this group with the intention of looking for clients.  Yes, we all need new clients. But my mission when I joined was truly to network.  I decided that if I was going to join this paid networking group, I was going to make sure that I was going to show up and actually network.  

I encourage you to get into a paid group because people that pay to be in networking groups are a little bit more committed to their business. They’re paying to be there because they’re committed to networking and growth. You can create amazing relationships with people who are actively engaged in growing their business the same way you are committed to growing your business.

 

In the online space, it’s easy to just pay for something and then not actually talk to people.  

It’s so easy to just hang out in the Facebook group, stay on the sidelines, and become a lurker. If you want to make the most out of a networking group, you have to actually network. So I made it a goal to connect with as many people as I could inside that group. It’s something I do every single week.  It’s a big group, and there’s always somebody new that you can connect with. So I reach out and send a message that is aimed to connect for a coffee chat.

There have been so many opportunities that have come from that. My intention behind those messages is not to gain new clients.  The intention of those messages are to network and learn about these people I’m talking to. I want to chat with these people to figure out if there’s a way that we can collaborate. 

 

Sometimes when you tell people what you do, they realize they need you.

If they don’t need you, they may know somebody that needs you. That’s networking! The goal of networking is to become top of mind and to stay top of mind.  So what are you doing to actually grow your business outside of social media? Businesses were built for years without social media. 

 

There are ways to network “offline”.

Yes, the group I joined is an online networking group, but 90% of the networking I do happens “offline”. Obviously, it’s on Zoom because we’re all over the world.  But it’s not happening on a social media platform. We’re having real conversations, face-to-face which allows us to connect on a deeper level. 

So I encourage you to look and see if there’s something locally that you can do. Local networking is great if you are in an area with a lot of local businesses that you could possibly help. If not, there’s a ton of online networking groups. You can just search online networking groups.

 

You want to make sure that you’re networking with people that you could refer to, and they could refer you. 

You don’t want to get into a networking group that doesn’t fit your business niche. I support service based entrepreneurs. So I’m not going to network with product based business owners. It just doesn’t make sense because I can’t help them. They can’t necessarily help me.  It doesn’t mean they don’t have friends that are service based, but there’s not a lot of reciprocity that can happen. 

 

Make sure there is an opportunity for collaboration.  

I met a brand strategist inside of The Advance Networking Group. So, there’s an opportunity where I can bring her in to do some brand messaging inside of my 4 month intensive because I don’t work on brand messaging.  There’s a lot of opportunity for collaboration between the two of us.

I’ve also met copywriters and graphic designers. Those are all people that I can bring into my network, because my clients all need those things. They’re not things that I do, and vice versa. They don’t offer business strategy as a service. So we can then collaborate. There’s so much power in collaboration.

 

I really encourage you to try a paid networking group. 

It will make a difference.  Now, it does take time to find the one that’s best for you. But if you’re going to pay to join a networking group, the next step is making sure you actually network in it. Don’t rely on the leader of the networking group to connect you. Get in there and take action. 

Most of these groups have a members directory. The member directory is your gold mine! So go in there, get contact information, contact them, and connect with them. I promise you your business will grow because of it. It makes a huge difference. Not to mention you’re surrounded by like minded people. There’s so much opportunity to learn and grow. So I highly encourage you to try a paid group. 

 

There are ways to build your business outside of social media.  

You do not need to rely on social media alone. Diversify a little bit. Most people are saying get into email marketing.  But how do you build your list if you don’t have social media? You can’t just decide to switch to email marketing if you don’t have a list and you don’t have people to put on it. So you still have to find ways to meet people! And if social media is not one of them, let’s go old school and start networking. 

 

Networking is going to be key to growth.

So find a group. I know The Advanced Network has open enrollment.  You can use the link below to sign up.  Check it out. It’s been phenomenal. It’s absolutely filled with the most amazing women. I’ve met some of the best people.  The majority of the people you’re hearing as guests on my podcast, I’ve met through there. 

You can even find a group that is specific to your area. There’s a lot of them out there. Do your research, find something, and get involved in a networking group. If you are in business, you should be involved in some kind of closed networking group. It’s a game changer.

 

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