Networking locally: how to succeed

Networking locally is an excellent way to enhance your business by becoming known as a local area expert in your niche.

But, if you want to be successful at networking locally, it is imperative that you know how to do it effectively.

Otherwise, you could achieve the opposite and it could backfire.

* Attend the right events: Check out many events in your local area and choose the ones that will help you achieve your goals.

You may be aiming to meet other people in your industry or you may be aiming to meet people who may qualify to become your customer.

The objective of each event will depend on both who is attending and who is hosting the event.

* Dress well: depending on the event you are going to, you may need to dress a certain way.

For example, if you are attending a networking event with a lot of lawyers, you should probably wear business attire.

But, if you are going to an event full of programmers or people who work from home, you can probably dress more casually.

In any case, you should dress as you feel most comfortable, but also in a way that makes your audience feel most comfortable.

* Introduce yourself first: In most cases, the person who extends their hand first and introduces themselves first demonstrates that they have more confidence and power than the person who waited.

When you introduce yourself first, you eliminate that awkwardness and you can continue to get to know people.

* Know your plan: Before you introduce yourself at any event, you should have a plan.

Each event will require different plans to help you network more effectively.

When you know your audience and how to engage them, you will do much better at each event.

* Introduce people to other people: A really great way to stand out at events is to be a resource for people and make introductions to people you think can help each other.

When you are good at connecting people, the experience of others rubs off on you.

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* Be positive: when you are in public at an event, the worst thing you can do is start complaining about other people or things.

Instead, stay focused, positive and helpful.

Let your confidence shine through by smiling and looking at people with aplomb.

* Follow-up: Never forget to follow up with the people you spoke to, especially if you promised to give them information on any topic.

A great follow-up tip is to send people information, books and articles on the topics you discussed at the event.

Networking locally will pay off when you choose the right events, know how to be yourself, let people know who you are and become a resource for everyone.

If they know they can call on you to connect them with what they need, they will remember you.

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