Like it or not, networking is an important part of growing your business and building your brand within your community.
We talked last week about the HOW of networking, but now WHERE do you start?
As a pet sitters of course you want to talk to and get to know other pet professionals in town such as vets, groomers, trainers etc; but they are only one piece of the puzzle. You want to be involved with other business professionals who can help network you to their clients as well!
Where do you find networking opportunities?
You may have used MeetUp.com to look for social events. Have you ever thought to put “business” or “professional” into the search box?
Try it and see what comes up!
I just did it for my area and found a Longmont Small Business Mastermind Group. That sounds pretty interesting! I know what I’m going to be looking into after finishing this article!
This is the largest organized networking group in the world. They have local chapters usually consisting of between 25-45 members.
There is a fee of about $500 to join plus any monthly chapter dues (room rental, if a meal is served etc. For my chapter it was $44 per month). Before you brush off BNI because of the high fee, we made over $5,000 per year off of direct referrals from the group. The ROI can be HUGE.
The group is exclusive, which means if you join, there cannot be another pet sitter in the group for as long as you are a member. You are the go to pet sitter of the group.
3) Chamber of Commerce
Many chambers have their own networking groups for chamber members, but they also have social events, many bring in speakers, you can use their logo on your web site; there are a lot of resources for the big picture of your business.
The key to any networking group that you join:
You will only get out of it as much as you put into it.
Attending 1 meeting and handing out business cards to 25 strangers and hoping they are going to call is not going to cut it. They are not going to call. I’m serious, no one is going to call. It needs to be more than this.
If you make a commitment to getting yourself and your business out there the rewards are ready and waiting for you!
Are you nervous about attending a networking event? I am interviewing a self proclaimed introvert for next week’s blog. Stay tuned!