Ever wonder how you can build up your network with little time at hand?
My personal recipe for this is to optimize the time available to have the maximum output. Sounds simple, but it is not so easy to implement.
How can you do that?
The Networking Challenge
If might have read that I recently started a networking challenge. I started two weeks ago with this challenge to push myself even further with my personal development goals.
If you have not yet read about the challenge itself, please check it out here!
So, in this post I would like to give you an update on where I am at and I will also provide you with some tips to boost your networking, even if you have limited time available.
Here are the detailed networking topics and updates I would like to get into today:
- Update on my networking group
- On-the-spot networking: on specific topics
- Local official networking events
- Random Business Contact Revival
Let’s start with the first one!
The Entrepreneurs’ Exchange Group
One of my first challenges is to start a local network group for Entrepreneurs in my current hometown Düsseldorf. So I used the platform Meetup to setup the group and started inviting people.
From what I can tell, so far, it is going well! As you can see in the screenshot below, after two weeks, we have 14 group members and seven of these are attending the first meetup in exactly one week! Yippee, well, I will not get too excited, as last minute cancellations can always happen, but I am happy.
What did I contribute to obtain 14 participants? Well, not much to be honest.
I have regularly scheduled posts on Twitter and on Xing. And I also wrote a message to all the people who had signed up to help me spread the word. I have not contacted local entrepreneurs whom I know because I want to focus on enlarging my network.
So, in addition to the time I spent setting up the group on the meetup platform, I had invested about 30 minutes since then. Could I do more? Certainly, but I prefer to have a number of people in the group who are really interested, than “just to fill up the numbers” for numbers sake.
What do you think?
Of real high value to me are the virtual networking and somewhat mastermind groups. In the beginning of the year, I have joined two groups which both focus on Internet business, since I am a complete Newbie on the topic.
The exchanges I have had so far have been of tremendous value. The good thing about it is, you can interact when you like (most of the times). You contribute on specific topics and you can also ask detailed questions on a topic for which you do not have the immediate solution at hand, and so far, there has always been someone who helped me out.
Again, this is very punctual time investment, and you get a great value out of it. If you are into Internet Business, I can recommend you to check out Internet Business Mastery.
Actually, through this American platform, I met someone who lives about 25 km from where I grew up in Northern Germany. Great stuff!
Local official networking events
Another aspect of networking where I want to get more of is local networking. I confess, I should have done more of it up to now, but okay. I am working on it, as there are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Tonight, actually I have been invited to go to a local event, which is organized by the local chamber of commerce. I am not sure exactly what to expect, but there will be plenty of new people to meet, so, I look forward to that!
As far as time investment for this type of activity is concerned, yes, you will need to invest some time. There are no hacks for physical networking events, at least not that I know of. I like to meet new people, so I look forward to this event tonight (even the weather forecast looks good for a change).
Random Business Contact Revival
Last, but not least, in order to boost my professional networking experience, I have also decided to invest some time to revive some old contacts. Quite a few of them do not even know that I started my own business, so that is already a start into the conversation. And who knows whom they might know!
Okay, this is it for my update. I will get back to you end of next week to tell you how the Meetup went!
Did you see that networking does not take up that much of your time after all? Do you pay money to go to networking events? Discuss in the comments!