How to Set Up Your Own Local Networking Group

Starting a local networking group is a great way to become known for your expertise in your local community. But, before you start one you need to think about a few factors. Number one is what your overall goal is for having the group - both from the members’ perspectives and from your own.

Know the Goals You Have for the Group

Understanding why you want to start a networking group is important. If you’re hoping to find clients and make money from the group, then you will want to have a group that covers a good cross-section of your ideal audience. If you really want to network with your competition, such as an industry group, that will have far different goals than a networking group made up of your ideal audience.

Laser-Target Your Niche

Think of this again from the perspective of your goals for this group. If you want to connect people with many different niches, you will still need to find out what they all need. But, if you want to network with your peers, then you’ll focus on a different niche entirely. The key is to find a niche topic that appeals to everyone that you want to come.

Invite Local Leaders to Your Events

A great way to kick things off for your first networking event is to invite local leaders to your meetings. When local leaders start showing up, it’ll become the meeting to go to in your local community faster.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Just because an event is local doesn’t mean you have to give up online technology to help organize your event and your members. Software like WildApricot.com, Facebook groups, event planning, sign-up software and more will all help you make your networking group amazing and effective.

Tell Everyone about Your New Group

Even though some of your friends might not be perfect for your new networking group, you should still tell everyone you know about your new group from the moment you’re sure you’re going to create it. That way the word gets out to everyone, and those who may be interested can contact you to help.

Survey Attendees to Perfect Your Group

Once you start having meetings, make it a habit of sending out a survey to your group so that you can get to know your attendees better. The more you know the people who show up, the more you can learn about them to attract more people who show up.

Be Consistent

Once you start a networking group, it’s important to be consistent. You may feel tempted to cancel meetings because you don’t have a lot of participation at first. But, the worst thing you can do is start and stop. Instead, be consistent in your activities so that more people will start joining over time. Give it at least a good full year of monthly meetings before you give up.

Set Up for Growth

If you set up your group for growth and have steady growth, your group will become very sustaining. Set it up so that you don’t have to be involved after the group gets going. Assign officers and a president or director so that you can eventually let go of the reins for someone else to lead.

Starting a local networking group will make a huge difference in how your audience sees you. You can use your local group for so many activities and situations that will help you grow your business too.

Categories: Community Expert