In the last 2 weeks we’ve looked at How To Get The Most Out Of Your Social Media Manager and How To Get The Most Out Of Your Social Media Training Session

This week to quote Olivia Newton John – Let’s get physical, physical

We’re looking at How To Get The Most Out Of Your Networking Group

Networking has played a huge part in our businesses success, because we view each meeting as work and not as some people do as “time off” (or Notworking)

Here are our tips on How To Get The Most Out Of Your Networking Group

1. Attend Regularly

Half of success is actually turning up

The reason we’ve never committed to a BNI meeting is we genuinely can’t commit to the same time every week, but we can commit to a networking group that meets once or twice a month like SUBS Altrincham

Those that get the most out of a networking group are the ones that show up regularly, are present in meetings and take an active part in the group

You don’t remember the service provider you last saw 6 months ago (unless they’re so niche they have no competition)

2. Have a Whatsapp Group

At our local networking group we have a whatsapp group for all partners

The group whilst not BNI are a one per industry type and members attend regularly so it helps

It allows us to keep in touch with each other between events with our latest business news, blog posts, recommendation requests and group discussions

In short it’s your own support network, which is what a group should be. A group of businesses that look out for others in the group

There’s a certain amount of self moderation in there in terms of the amount of messages that get posted so it’s not an annoyance – it helps that all of us are established businesses with busy days and it never becomes a time suck

3. Invite others to attend meeting

“Can you all invite just 1 guest to next months meeting?”

If you network often then you probably hear that a lot

And still most people don’t do it

A room full of guests presents more opportunities for all concerned and adds to the vibrancy of the group

If you’re getting value out of a group then you can add that extra value to a client if there’s a meeting with a speaker / topic they might be interested in

4. Talk About The Group On Social
Use social media for good

If you get to experience any of the following
– A great networking event
– A great speaker
– A great referral
– Introduce a client
– Get a helping hand from a group member
– Learn something new
– Meet a totally original business type
– Win a prize draw
– Love the venue

Post about it on Social Media

If you don’t promote it, you demote it – and I know you’re too kind to ever demote anything

5. Engage With Others Content On Social Media
Engaging with others content online helps you and helps your group at the same time

Whoever is reading this blog I can guarantee that 90% of you will not engage enough with others on social media

I’m not saying you all log in, post and leave – but I suspect you’re not doing enough

How long does it take to
– Retweet something on Twitter
– Leave a 2 line comment on LinkedIn
– Like and comment on an instagram post
– Give words of encouragement on Facebook

If you have 25 members in our group like we do, just doing this once a week would take you 25 minutes max

How does it help you? Your getting your name in front of their audience (and when ours if 14,000+ Twitter followers and nearly 7000 LinkedIn Connections it’s not to be sniffed at)

6. Share Best Practice
Photographer Martin Hambleton recently told us about a group of fellow photographers he meets up with to share information and best practice

And I have a number of social media marketers around the country who I respect and trust that we can talk about social media queries or issues

A local networking group should also be about sharing best practice and helping others

In our case we’ve introduced the LinkedIn “Find Nearby” option to each meeting

In other meetings we’ve had discussions about late payments and how to deal with it

By sharing best practice you all grow

7. Use Services So You Can Refer With Trust
Out of our local networking group of 25 businesses, 11 of them have used my social media training or management services

It means they’ve got a greater understanding of the value I give to businesses and can refer to others with a greater degree of trust

Similarly I’ve used the skills of a photographer, web designer, IT company, meeting rooms, printers, electricians, videographer and I’m sure when the need arrives I’ll use more of the group

Your networking group is your own team of suppliers that you can use to grow your own business and your clients businesses

8. Partnerships & Collaboration
Daniel Priestley’s “Key Person Of Influence” is one book every business every business owner should read

And Partnerships and Collaboration are one area in building that influence

It’s also one area I admit I have room to improve on as although we have informal partnerships and referrals there is nothing more formal and organised

I know that my networking group will be reading this blog – so we should arrange something together

And for anyone reading this that have never met myself – let’s meet, have a coffee and talk about how we can grow our businesses together

9. Support The Speaker
OK, I’m one of those rare beasts that actually loves speaking in front of an audience

It wasn’t always the case as I started off nervous as hell before it became my happy place

For most people it’s the most nerve wracking moment of their professional life and the worst part of public speaking is the speaker saying “Any Questions?” and being met with silence

So listen, think of a question that can encourage the speaker and you’ll notice how more people start to show an interest and ask their own questions

Be that person who asks a question and support your team

10. Socialise
Some people like to keep business and personal totally separate

And that’s fine

But I find socialising with your networking group creates stronger bonds between the group

It might be a few drinks or a coffee or it could be a breakfast catch up

A little variety for the drinkers and non drinkers make sure everyone is included

NEED HELP WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA?
Chat to us about Social Media Marketing for YOUR organisation , so we can better understand YOU and what will grow your organisation

We can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you

Look at our Social Media Training and Social Media Management services

We offer Social Media Training on
* Twitter
* Facebook
* LinkedIn
* Instagram
* Blogging

We can do this
* 121
* Corporate Workshops
* Group Workshops
* Face to Face or Via Skype

Or Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email alex@altrinchamhq.co.uk

3 responses to “How To Get The Most Out Of Your Networking Group”

  1. Avatar David Bellin says:

    Great article. In fact, one of your best. Really like it.

  2. Avatar Jo says:

    Hi Alex
    Love your common sense articles – it reminds me of what I should be doing!!

  3. Avatar Stephanie Tucker says:

    Fabulous article Alex! Truly looks into the heart and potential of networking.
    Your article perfectly brings together the ethos of SUBS and its aims to genuinely help… not sell, but support.
    Major Kudos!

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