Clients: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
Small business owners often discuss finding new clients and the process of networking. “How do you get new clients?” I’m asked again and again. Over the years, I’ve discovered enjoyable ways to expand my business.
While you can attend a number of networking events in the area, such as a DC Web Women lunch or a Women Grow Business bootcamp, you don’t have to wait for someone else to take the lead. You can organize your own events or meetings.
Here are three ways to create networking opportunities:
Create a Networking Event
If you are organized and enjoy putting together an event, then this option might be for you.
Consider the following: Do you want to create a monthly event? What kind of people do you want to attend?
Considering those questions will help you uncover your goals.
When you place yourself at the center of an event, everyone will remember you. Most likely, they will be grateful to you for spending the time and energy to gather the group together.
If you are an avid Twitter user, or even if you’re just starting out, you may have messaged back and forth with people you’ve never had the chance to meet in person. A Tweetup, an in-person gathering of Twitter users, offers a way to turn virtual connections into real connections.
One inventive Tweetup organizer invited people on a progressive tour of bakeries in the DC area. The attendees met at a central location. Then, at each bakery, the attendees tasted cupcakes, chatted, and walked together to the next location.
Image: Kat Johnston/Sanura Sakai, Creative Commons
Recently, I co-organized a Women Grow Business Tweetup. Several WGB bloggers and small business owners met in real life and developed stronger connections as a result.
With someone I met at the WGB Tweetup, I am creating a workshop focused on creativity and entrepreneurship.
What I love best about networking is the potential, possibilities, and ideas generated when many minds come together.
Meet for Coffee
Over time, networking for business blends with gathering with friends. If you have a project idea or want to reconnect with someone, invite someone for coffee. Coffee works well for those who might not have time for a two-hour lunch.
Th0se are just a few ways you can create networking opportunities that you can then convert into business. What can you add?
More from Women Grow Business on networking and business:
- Jen Consalvo’s Lessons from Austin
- Terri Holley asks, “Got Trust?”
- Melanie Spring on offline transparency and grounding your business
Regular contributor Deborah Ager is principal at ClickWisdom, LLC, which helps organizations attract and keep their ideal customers using paid search, social media, search engine optimization, and email marketing. She’s a Google AdWords Certified Professional and has managed $1.5 million spends in paid search while achieving target opt-in rates. Read a Maryland search engine optimization success story and sign up for free internet marketing tips; you can also connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.Google+