Networking Offline with Your Online Connections


Article by Donna FeldmanA new client who is starting a business mentioned that while she was putting a lot of time and effort into her online marketing and networking, she had yet to see any tangible results (i.e. clients). She asked if she needed to add some offline activities, such as attending networking events or meeting with people one-on-one.

Yes, she does, and if you’re not complementing your online networking with face-to-face meetings, you do, too!

Online networking is an important tool for increasing your visibility, but visibility alone is not enough to win new customers. Having hundreds of online connections is no different than having a drawer full of business cards; you still need a way to deepen the connection and build a relationship. One of the best ways to do this is by finding a way to meet face-to-face.

Meeting in person can take an online relationship to a new level. Here are 3 ways to take your online relationships out of cyberspace and into a real place.

  1. Are you going to a conference out of town? Attending a local business event? Going to a sporting or social event? Let your network know where you’ll be and invite them to meet if they’ll be there too.
  2. Same as #1 in reverse. Pay attention to posts from your network about events they will attend. If you’re going to be there also, contact them and suggest meeting in person at the event.
  3. Go to an offline meeting of an online group. Many online groups have started having offline real-world meetings. Here are a few places to meet your online connections offline:
    – For Facebook or LinkedIn users, view “Events” to see a list of events posted by your connections. Some of these will be local, in-person meetings.
    – For Twitter users, search for local “tweetups.” For example, in Denver, you can search for #denvertweetup, follow @denvertweetup, or visit denvertweetup.com.

While it’s easy and convenient to do your networking online, don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining your offline, in-person presence as well. Our challenge to you this week is to take at least one action to deepen one of your online connections.

This article was co-authored by Donna Feldman and Cindy Rold. Donna and Cindy are The Networking Gurus.

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