I haven’t gone to a networking meeting or conference in more than 5 years.
Yet, I have a people-centric business (training/coaching/mentoring)… and it is thriving more than ever.
Here's why I have never enjoyed in-person networking:
Otherwise, don’t count on my RSVP…
The Time Cost of In-Person Networking:
Total time it cost you to go to a face-to-face networking meeting? 3–4 hours front to end… maybe more.
If you don't thoroughly enjoy such events, then there are better things to do with your time.
Here are smart ways to spend those 3–4 hours instead: thoughtfully connect with 10 of the right people online. You'll be doing more, with less energy and time!
Where to Find The Right People Online?
Use the search function in any online social network to find just the right person you want to network with.
In the same 3 or 4 hours it takes you to do in-person networking, you could research and thoughtfully connect to maybe 10-12 of the right people. In a physical networking meeting, with that same amount of time, you’d be lucky to find 3-4 people that you actually want to connect with.
Sure, you won’t have a 100% connection rate, but that’s also true with in-person networking… even when you follow up!
Try it out. It saves time, and can build your business more quickly.
Create Content so that Others Reach Out To You
An alternative to reaching out is to spend your time creating and distributing content.
In 3 hours, you could make a video or write a blog post and then buy a Facebook Ad for $15 to reach 1,000 of the right people.
Learn how to use Facebook Ads for “detailed targeting” and “lookalike audiences.” To learn it from me, take my online course re: Facebook Ads.
By creating and distributing content, you’re building credibility and connections with many people at once. You will attract an audience and the right people will reach out to you — potential clients and referral sources.
Either way, whether you get skillful at online networking, or content creation, you will be spending your time wisely, instead of rubbing elbows with strangers.
You might of course enjoy being with groups of people. If so, do it socially! Imagine just doing it for fun, without the pressure or performance-anxiety of professional networking.
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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Here's why :)