Networking – the word itself has a negative connotation. Between the awkward handshakes and mediocre hors-d’oeuvres, you’ve gathered a handful of business cards that you really don’t want to follow up on. Your network isn’t necessarily your net worth anymore – you need to build a community.
Communities are so much more than networks, with like-minded colleagues that share your beliefs and can offer insight and expertise in your sector. People concentrate on building relationships rather than the transactional exchange of business cards.
Similar to a partnership or relationship, your community is a two-way support system that improves the ideas, products and services. So how do you go from casual conversations at networking events to creating real, in-depth relationships? Take a look at the following tips to find and build your community.
Make Real Connections Online
LinkedIn is an obvious choice to for finding like-minded companies and individuals. But instead of simply sending and accepting connections, start a conversation. Comment, listen and reply to learn and share insights. The best relationships start with meaningful conversations – yes, even online.
Be Generous with Your Time and Knowledge
Leave the “what’s in it for me” mentality behind every time you start a conversation with someone. Instead, think about how you can help them. What expertise or ideas can you share? These types of conversations build trust to create a tighter bond. So, when you’re having problems or need someone to lean on for advice, your community is more likely to help you out.
Remember Those Who’ve Had Your Back
Of course, you always want to grow your community; but as it gets bigger, you still need to keep your relationships strong. Send past connections a quick hello, remind them of how you can help them or refer businesses that could use their service. Remember, what goes around comes around, so build a community that values assisting one another.
Get Together with Like-Minded Companies
Why would you stand in a packed room where every conversation starts with “so, what do you do?” Instead, hold an event with companies that are more likely to be useful in your community – businesses that are on a similar track and want to share ideas and solve each other’s problems.
Grow Your Community at 4u2grow
Don’t just talk about joining the community, become a crucial part of it. At the 4u2grow Bring Your Own Conference event, you get the opportunity to expand your community for more engagement, networking and results. This pre-conference event shines the light on you to talk product, upsell and cross-sell and build community without the hassle and expense. In fact, we’ll handle up to 100 percent of the setup and marketing, making the total event cost one-tenth the price of doing it yourself.
All you need to do is bring your laptop, and we’ll take care of everything else, including:
- Recruitment marketing
- Outbound calling
- Social media promotion
- Location and classroom booking
- Projections and audio
- Signage and displays
Contact a Marketopia representative to learn more about the 4u2grow Annual Event and how you can get involved and start shaping your community.