It’s easy to take online relationship building for granted but that’s no reason to neglect your offline network. Digital handshakes reach more people, fast, at little to no cost but nothing beats a face-to-face handshake. You can find a variety of professional networking groups and events in your area such as the Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations. Check online to find out what’s going on in your area.
You can also get together with business owners and form your own strategic alliance group. This is a great way to have other businesses promote you, your brand, and vice versa. When your strategic alliance partners send someone your way and you convert them from a prospect to a client, give your partners a commission. It’s an awesome incentive for all of you and a great way to keep the referrals coming.
Another great way to maximize your offline network is attend seminars, workshops, and conferences. All of these provide a place to learn about topics that appeal to you which immediately creates a common interest with other attendees. Chat with as many people as possible, find out their line of work, and you’ll likely come home with a stack of business cards, new Facebook fans, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, and even some new clients.
Speaking at events is a fabulous way to build a community offline. Doing so also positions yourself as the authority in your industry. You can speak at local colleges, business events, businesses, seminars, workshops, conferences, and other events where people gather. This expands your network and following, plus you get to share your knowledge with people who want to know more about you, your products and services. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Writing for company websites, blogs, or print publications is an awesome way to gain exposure and build your network. Newspapers, magazines, and websites are always looking for new content that’s informative. If you provide an educational experience for your readers they’ll want to follow you and read future publications so include your contact information in all of your writings. Pretty soon people will associate you as the person who wrote that rockin’ article.
Taking advantage of networking events attracts opportunities to cultivate important relationships. It’s all about making solid connections while leaving an impactful first impression. These techniques have brought me much success and I hope they do the same for you.
Editor’s Note: Angel Soria is an Internet Marketing Consultant, entrepreneur, columnist for the Tulare Kings Hispanic Times, and currently obtaining her Executive MBA at Fresno State. To learn more about maximizing your offline network, visit www.fresnolocalinternetmarketing.com and enter your name and email address in the boxes provided. Follow her @talk2angelsoria.