Google: The Secret Tool to Networking

Google Network CharlotteWhether you’re a small business owner in South End or a high-powered executive overlooking Uptown Charlotte, if you’re smart, you know the importance of networking.

But networking is more than occasionally attending an event with a name like “[Insert something generic about cocktails] networking event,” or chatting with strangers at Selwyn Pub after work.  

Networking is the process of developing mutually beneficial business relationships, nurturing those relationships and demonstrating your value within them.   

The problem?  Many people don’t know where to start when really the best networking opportunities are just a click away.

So, where to start… like most of life’s burning questions, the best place to start your quest for an answer is in your heart…wait, I mean Google.  The best place to start is always Google. 

GOOD

First, search the following:

·      Networking Events in Charlotte

·      Groups and clubs in Charlotte

·      Things to do in Charlotte

BETTER

Then refine the above searches based on:

·      Your profession

·      Your personal interests or things you’re passionate about

·      Your target market’s interest

BEST

Next, search for local community events

And finally, run searches to: 

·      Find out what your peers are doing

·      Find out what people in your industry are doing

·      Find out where your prospective clients, peers, or mentors hang out

It’s important to get involved with groups related to your industry or profession.  Stay up to date on trends in your industry and adhere to the old saying:

“Keep your friends close and your competition closer.” 

For example, if you’re in marketing or advertising, join the Charlotte American Marketing Association or American Advertising Federation.  If you’re an attorney, join the Mecklenburg County Bar.

However, joining groups that only have members in your industry is doing your business a disservice.  You could also try groups that don’t have a lot of members who specialize in the same thing you do.  

This is crucial.  

You are probably not going to find many prospects in a room full of people who offer the same service. 

However, if you join groups where you’re the only professional videographer, people will get to know you as Mike the videographer, Jan the actress, or Bob the carpenter. You will become the trusted resource for your profession among those groups. 

It may be something completely unrelated to your business, but you should always search for groups that do something you’re genuinely passionate about. 

 

People want to work with people they like, know, and trust.

People also trust people who are genuine.

 

Getting involved in groups you care about is a great way to meet new people and make connections.  Understanding the right group for you is a process. You may have to try a variety of groups before you find the right fit.

To help you get started:

Google will most likely suggest that you check out these sites:

·      Meetup.com

·      EventBrite.com

·      Levo League

·      Mightybell

·      Charlotte Small Business Administration

·      Charlotte Chamber Events

·      Toastmasters

·      LinkedIn Events

·      Twitter

·      Facebook

·      Or, create your own group or event

Until next time, good luck and happy searching!

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