Networking is a really important part of growing your business because it gets you out there and means you can meet people who can support you and help your business grow. But how do choose the right group? In this post, I'll be highlighting some of the ways you can find the right networking opportunities for your holistic health business.
1. Work out why you're networking
What do you want to go networking for? Do you want to meet people to collaborate with, build a support network or to socialise with? Do you want to get clients? Do you want to create new leads from it? Work out what you want to achieve from networking and that will help you measure which groups are a good fit for you.
2. Type of group
There are lots of different times of groups out there. Some welcome multiple people in the same field, others have a one member per profession approach. Some are for women only, others are mixed. Some specialise in a particular sector, like many wellness groups, whilst others welcome any business owner. Some are aimed at one-woman bands and others are aimed at larger organisations. Write down things you value in a group and the sort of thing you'd like to try.
3. When and Where?
Different groups meet at different types of the day and in various locations. Maybe you like to schedule yoga classes in the daytime but you have evenings free, or maybe you book most client treatments in the afternoons and have mornings free. Establish what time of day suits you best.
Depending on where you live, ideally you don't want to be travelling too far to attend networking groups. Work out how far you're willing to travel to help narrow down your search.
4. Do your research
Do a Google search using the criteria you have defined in the above exercises. Find out what groups meet in your area and see how often they meet. You can also find out if you can turn up on the day or whether you need to book. You might also like to find out if there is any criteria to become a member or whether they are more informal and don't have membership. List a few details of the ones you like the sound of and get in touch with them where relevant.
5. Ask for recommendations
Ask friends and other business owners where they network and what they like about their groups. You might find you'll get an invitation to go to an event with them which is a good way to get into networking and give you the confidence boost to get out there!
6. Try them out
Try a few groups out and reflect on what you found. What types of people did you meet? How did it feel to be in the room? Did you have some good conversations? Think about your original goals for networking and see if the groups align. Bear in mind you may not get clients from a first visit but you may feel there are the right people in the group to meet that goal.
7. Follow up
Remember to follow up with people you meet. Connect with them using Facebook or LinkedIn to build your relationship. Follow their business on social media and arrange any 1-2-1s if you had useful conversations with particular people.
8. Show up
As with many elements of running a business, consistency pays off. To get the most out of networking, build trust and get to know people, it's best to attend regularly. If you've tried a few different groups, work out which ones most closely align with your goals and commit to attending those groups regularly. You can always dip in and out of other networks or try others as your business develops.
I hope this helps you get out there and find your voice. You're doing amazing work and you deserve to be heard!
Still feeling nervous about networking?
Have a chat with me and we can talk through some ways to make networking more appealing to you.