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A Networking Group that Works for You

Networking people sitting around a table and drinking coffeeWhen it comes to expanding your business in the Research Triangle area, networking is key. While your inbound marketing efforts are commendable, you should not discount the value of networking.

Also Read: Common Mistakes made by entrepreneurs - Your Style

It’s simple — the wider your network, the more likely you are to know someone who can support your business growth.

Thanks to the Internet, you now have innumerable excellent opportunities to network with others. Here are six ways for finding networking groups:

1. Look at online networking sites

Nowadays, there is a website for just about everything — and networking is no exception. Here are two websites that can assist you in finding or organizing networking events:

  • Meetup: Discover [mostly] free meet-ups from every industry. For regular group meetings, there is also a category for “career and business events.”
  • Eventbrite: This is the place to look for seminars, conventions, and exhibitions. There is a lot to explore.

2. Turn to social media

Social networking is important in both our personal and professional lives. So it logically follows that you should search through your social media profiles for networking opportunities.

Yes — social media can not only shape your brand design, but it can also be a fantastic networking tool.

If you are a member of social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, you can look for industry events in your area. You can also look at the profiles of those who will attend and stay connected with them after the event.

Also Read: How To Keep Your Brand Consistent Across Social Media

3. Reach out to local organizations

Make the most of your community resources. Check with your local chamber of commerce and business groups for open workshops and meetings.

Although membership fees may run a little higher, local organizations can help you network with other business people in your area.

4. Support a good cause

If you are willing to volunteer your time, look for a non-profit organization that needs your help and support. Charity or fundraising events will allow you to socialize with others who share similar interests.

5. Why not host an event of your own?

Invite business people in your area or industry into your business or allow other local organizations to use your space for a networking event.

6. Follow up

If you have attended a networking event or hosted one, follow up with those you spoke to. These people may even be able to provide you with information about an upcoming networking event.

Find the Best Networking Opportunity

It is crucial that you only participate in networking events that are a good fit for you. After all, there is nothing worse than wasting your resources by joining a networking group that will probably not help you reach your long-term business objectives.
Spend some time researching different networking groups to ensure you pick the best one(s) to invest your time, money, and expertise in.

But how do you do that? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • If it is a Chamber of Commerce or professional association, visit the office and meet the employees. If it is a volunteer organization, like a Rotary Club, reach out to the management and speak with the board directly.
  • Attend at least two events to get a true sense of the networking group. The first event — whether it was impressive or disappointing — could have been a fluke.
  • Talk to the members about how long they have been involved with the group, how they have benefited from their membership, and if they would recommend you to join the group.
  • Inquire whether anyone in the community has any comments on the networking group you are thinking about joining.
  • Someone you know may be a member of a group or have had previous interactions with one. Go one step further by seeking advice or recommendations from your social media contacts.
  • Think about the value you believe the group can bring to your Raleigh business. Compare the features and benefits of each group. Price may also play a role in this. For example, one networking group may have an all-inclusive price, but another may charge a monthly membership fee. $10, $20, and even $50 may not seem to be much at first glance, but these costs can add up fast and hurt your bottom line.
  • Does the group’s personality/culture match that of your Triangle business? Some networking groups can be uptight, but others always seem to have a fun time no matter what!
  • Is the group’s structure or flexibility what you are looking for? You may want something well-structured where every member bears some accountability, or you may prefer a self-paced group into which you can slowly dip your toes. Find out the networking group’s expectations, and think about if they could be a deal-breaker for you.
  • Joining a committee, volunteering at local events, or becoming a board member are all great ways to truly benefit from a networking group. Sure, it needs a greater level of commitment (and thus more time), but it can be the most fulfilling professional experience you will ever have. You can also volunteer to use your expertise to help the group grow.

Some more things to keep in mind…

  • You must be willing to put in the time required to benefit from being a part of a networking group. You will not gain much if all you are is a name on a membership list. Commit, put in the time, and you will most certainly see results.
  • You can be a member of more than one networking group simultaneously (and we encourage it), but do not join so many that you cannot effectively be a member of any of them.
  • You are the only one who can decide what the best fit for your business is. However, when you finally decide to join a networking group, make a concerted effort to add value by volunteering your expertise. In exchange, you get to take advantage of everything the group has to offer.

Final Notes

There are numerous ways to find local networking events that suit your business needs. And remember, if you cannot find the ideal group for you, you can always start your own.

Call Print and Web Designer at 336-684-6505 or write to us at for your networking strategy session today! We can also help you with your company’s branding needs through services such as brochure design, print design, magazine design, and web design. So, stop searching for “Triangle web design services,” “Durham web design services,” or “Cary web design services,” and reach out to us today.

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