TUESDAY CHALLENGE: CREATE A NETWORKING GROUP
Getting in front of people not just online but in person has always been a challenge for small business owners. What is important to realize is that people still want to see other people in person; they want an opportunity to share their stories and to form key strategic partnerships. That is the main reason why there are literally thousands of networking groups in every major city.
Going to a networking session where you are just another person in a sea of other hopeful people can be discouraging. Now if you were in charge, you would know exactly how you would want a networking function to be organized.
Your challenge this week is to lay the ground work for starting your own networking group, a group that other likeminded individual would want to join. Yes, there are other people that want to hear your story and to network with you. Someone is always coming up with a new idea and someone has created a platform where it is easy and relatively inexpensive to test the market place for interest in your own networking group.
The web site I want you to explore is www.meetup.com . This is a nationwide format where anyone can start their own group around what they feel is important. As you explore the site, you will notice that there is a networking group for just about any subject and business possible.
Last week I joined the meetup group and posted a new group forming under the name Scottsdale Business Strategies. In this first week I have had 63 people sign up and express an interest in attending my session. That does not mean that they all will attend a scheduled meeting, but I do know that there is an interest.
My next move is to find a place to host this meeting and to set up my own agenda which I hope will be different than what others are offering. I have called several libraries and visited several restaurants that have a meeting space. I will be reaching out to my contacts both online and other groups to see if anyone knows of a free or very inexpensive meeting room.
The great part is that MeetUp will notify all those that have expressed an interest in attending, giving them dates, time and location, all at no cost to me. They will also list me as a regular networking group for others that may wish to attend.
I plan to select a meeting place this week and to post my first meeting time and place. I will limit my first meeting to 20 so that I can experiment with my “creative and different format”.
This exercise will show you how easy it is to get a captive audience to listen to your story. When you are ready to start, all you have to do is to push a button. Please sign up on meetup if you wish to be notified of my next meeting.
Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them. So go out and start creating!
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