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Increase Your Networking Activities in 5 Simple Steps

Rubbing elbows with other business owners, both within and outside of your particular industry, should be a critical part of your marketing efforts. But figuring out new ways to get out there and mingle can be a challenge. Here are five simple ways you can boost your networking efforts and get your business more clout in the community.

Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce – For a minimal fee, you can sign up to become a member of your local Chamber and gain access to a number of networking events that are specifically designed for business owners to get acquainted and form relationships with others in the community. Check the directory to find your local branch and learn about how you can get started.

Support a Nonprofit – Nonprofit groups are always looking for experienced business owners and industry experts to support them in their mission, whatever that might be. Is there a particular cause that you’re passionate about or interested in? Becoming a board member can give you the opportunity to do something good and give back while also getting to know other influential people that also serve on the board. To get started, sign up for an account with boardnetUSA.

Dust Off Your Golf Clubs – It may seem cliché, but the golf course is still one of the best places to meet and mingle with other prominent business people in your area. Try dropping in as a solo player and see if you can form a threesome or foursome with some others. Who knows – you may even meet a new client or two!

Attend Alumni Events – If you graduated from college or even high school you’re probably on the mailing list of their alumni newsletter. Next time you get one, don’t toss it – read it and find out if there are any upcoming events you could attend to catch up with some of your old classmates. Chances are many of them also went on to open their own businesses and may be a great source of leads.

Participate in a Tweetup – In addition to the benefits I outlined in my recent article about why businesses should be using Twitter, many cities also host what’s known as monthly “tweetup” events. These allow users who are located in the same area to connect and meet up at an in-person gathering. While tweetups aren’t necessarily always geared toward business, they do provide a unique opportunity to get to know others in your community, hand out a few business cards and get more exposure for your brand.

These are, of course, just a few of the countless ways you can get out there and increase your business network. Think outside the box and always keep networking at the top of your mind and you’ll be surprised at how many new and exciting opportunities will present themselves.

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 2:47 PM