David Wolky's Networking Tip:
Be Supportive and be a Good Listener
The single greatest reason to join a networking group is the support you can gain from the other members. That support comes from referrals, encouragement and insights and advice you can apply to grow your business.
Support from referrals: Word of mouth is still a great driver for business. A google search is good, a trusted friend giving you a recommendation is better. Quality referrals’ are both effective and free (save for the networking fee). Being able to give referrals’ when someone you know is looking for a certain service or needs help is also good for you! Pointing people toward a quality business saves them some legwork and cements your value, too.
Support from Encouragement: Business people have unique challenges that friends or family can’t always relate too. And for some us, especially the self-employed who are running the ship alone, it can be isolating. A good networking group doesn’t just send you more customers; they commiserate together over these hurdles and keep each other going.
Support from Insights and Advice: Speaking of those unique challenges, sometimes there are problems that just seem impossible to solve. Having other people around with different viewpoints is beneficial, but oftentimes our friends and family don’t have the experience or understanding of what it takes to keep a business going. Having a group of other business people providing their feedback can be incredibly helpful.