Yesterday, I said the best way to network is to have your friends introduce you to some of their friends. But what if you don’t have many friends? Or the friends you have don’t know anyone in your target market?
You go to plan b. You do everything you can to meet some people (without an introduction or endorsement) and do your best to turn them into friends.
Yeah, it’s work. It’s not easy. It takes time. But you do what you’ve gotta do.
Yesterday, I heard from someone who has started a professional networking group in Manhattan. He’s looking for a few lawyers to come to their upcoming event and check out the group. He asked me to let him know if I knew anyone.
I assume he’s already invited all of his professional contacts and asked them to extend the invitation to their professional contacts. (If he hasn’t, he should.)
But that’s not all he can do.
He can get on the phone and call lawyers in his market, introduce himself, and invite them to the event. If they can’t/don’t want to come, ask them to pass along the invite to their lawyer friends.
If they say yes, they’ll come, offer to allow them to invite their contacts to come with them.
Spend an hour or two, call enough people, make the event sound sexy, offer free food, and you’ll get some folks showing up. Oh yeah, start your calls by reaching out to the contact persons at professional networking groups out of your immediate area. They may know people who are looking for a networking group that’s closer to their home or office.
He can post the event on his social media channels. He can post the event in appropriate Facebook and Linked In groups. He can do a mailer or advertise in professional journals. He can email his clients or customers (because everyone has a lawyer in the family). He can knock on doors in office buildings near the event and invite the occupants or pass out some flyers.
He doesn’t have to do this every week. Just long enough to get the group going and make some new friends.
Thing is, everyone he invites to his event who doesn’t come is someone he might be able to network with anyway. Call them again, remind them who you are, and get to know them. Who knows, they might become a friend even if they never come to your event.