If you have ready many of my previous articles, you would know that as far as Small Business Marketing Strategies go – I am a massive fan of Business Networking.
The reasons are simple; it’s low cash, people have been doing this technique in one form or another for thousands of years and I know personally hundreds of people that have used it as a great source of getting clients, building referral partnerships and their own support community.
As a Business Networking Leader at 4Networking Australia – I am running many groups across town. This has involved launching groups, growing groups and training people onto how to grow their groups. In high level terms it takes quite a bit of drive to grow networking groups, but anyone can do it and here are my Top 10 Strategies to help you awesome readers out:
1) Make sure you want to be part of it: It’s really important that you fit with the groups values and you really want to do it. I was once in a group before 4Networking that coerced me to invite. Besides going against my own values, it sucked and I got away from them. Make sure you want to do it and your motivation comes from within.
2) Only invite people it’s good for: Put yourself in the shoes of the other person and ask yourself, “Will they want to come here?”. Make sure it’s worth their while and if it’s not for them, then don’t invite them.
3) Send accurate emails: Some groups try and manipulate / hide their name (which I find odd). Give clear details of your group including name, website, time of meeting, date, cost and how much they should bring.
4) Give a Confirmation Call Prior: People are usually a bit nervous at the concept of going to a networking event. Always great to give them a call say 2 days prior to check in, tell them a bit about it.
5) Be there to meet them! Nerves as usually running high for people so be there to greet them at the meeting and support them. Then of course, invite them to join if they love it!
6) Invite tons of people: Inviting say 1 or 2 people may not result in you getting a visitor. I have found personally that say 1 out of 5 people I invite will visit one of our 4Networking Events. So great to keep inviting and put the word out there.
7) Email and Phone Call: If you send an invite email, I give them a call to say I sent the email. The combination usually works quite well!
8) Facebook & LinkedIn: Great to post your networking events on Social Media say 1 week before. Always a great way of getting attention.
9) Motivate your group to do it: You can’t always invite forever, so keep nicely asking people in the group to invite others.
10) Attract Drivers to Your Group: You want to create an awesome experience and attract the right people to your group. You don’t want passengers that just feed off the group, but people that drive it, bring people and want to help out.
I trust that quick guide helps and go for it! Promoting and building a successful networking group isn’t an exercise of intelligence, but an exercise of will and commitment. Feel free of course to visit our awesome 4Networking Australia Community if a group is near you!
Thank you from Edward Zia! Marketing Mentor and 4Networking Regional Leader.