Networking: The questions to ask yourself before choosing which groups are best for you

Which networking groups are right for you?

Is it me or has the number of networking groups ballooned recently?  Typing Business Networking in London into Google brought up 38,000,000 results in 0.13 seconds.

The cynic in me says this is because of the number of people out there being made redundant and therefore looking for self-employed work or another job and the networking groups can take annual fees off them with the vague promise of helping their achieve this goal.

The optimist in me says this is a great way to meet new people, to help them and to find the work/jobs you are looking for.

As it is entirely possible to network morning, noon and night, how do you protect your wallet, waistline and sanity by choosing the right groups for the way you like to network?  Here’s a few questions to ask yourself and shorten the list considerably:

  1. Are you an early bird or a night owl?  Early birds may have to be at the meeting for 6.30am whereas the night owls can still be there at 11.00pm.  Choose which end of the candle to burn because not many people can burn both ends all the time
  2. Do you want to subscribe or PAYG? Many of the formal organisations require membership and annual fees to be paid – and then may kick you out if you miss a few meetings whereas others simply ask you to pay when you come along
  3. Do you prefer to meet the same people each time or a set of new possible connections? Getting to know and trust people usually improves your chances of generating quality referrals
  4. Are you a structured networker or a relaxed “go with the flow” type person? A fixed formula works for some people but others don’t like to be told what to do and when during a networking event.

If networking is part of your marketing strategy, you want it to deliver new sales.  You therefore need to make sure the networking events you go to are right for you. This blog article isn’t designed to tell you which one(s) to attend, but simply to help you shorten the list to be considered.

I hope it helps