How to start a great networking group?
Let us take a hypothetical situation where you walk out of your office and see a poster mentioning about an event which you have been longing for a while to attend but could not. Reason could be either you were not informed well in advance plus you skipped looking at the poster.
Disappointing right? Wouldn’t you hope that someone must have informed? Or could have joined a group which speaks of such information regularly?
But the problem is there are so many groups which may or may not concern you, so which one are you supposed to join?
So dear friend, if you cannot find a group that fits your needs, how about creating your own group then? Organizing a networking group can be a good platform to pass on information related to your business or any interest that the group members are looking for and vice versa.
While this does sound interesting and easy, it has its own challenges. Hence to make an impact for your group and make it last long, here are a few tips that you must keep in mind to start a great networking group.
Set a goal and benefits of the group
Each one, today, is an undoubtedly a part of several groups including personal and professional. So, what is it that will make them join your group and be consistently active on it?
It therefore becomes necessary for you to first set a purpose or a goal for your group that will let people know its benefits too. It will also help you to know what kind of people you want to come along and how can you to derive and deliver opportunities.
Find your niche and stick to it
There will be many groups with the same motto and goal as yours. So, what you could do is to find your niche and streamline the discussions according to that.
Or you could be more detail oriented giving out in depth details of the concerned topic. This will make your group more valuable and people will start looking up to it.
Gradually focus on expansion
It is always good to start small and then go big. Once your group settles and you see the members deriving benefits from the group, it is then the time to plan your expansion.
You can probably ask the members to add their connects as well to the group or probably you can go online and post about your group making people aware of its existence and how could they benefit from it.
Plan your get-togethers
Meeting people face to face makes a lot of positive difference in the world of Networking. Hence plan for a get together for your group where people can come and exchange their valuable thoughts, ideas, and deals in person.
However, make sure to have a strong purpose of calling for a get together as you may not want the members to feel it as a waste of time or a meaningless agenda.
Take opinion from the members too
It is highly advisable to loop in your members to discuss about the event agenda or the purpose. Ask them if they have any specific requirement or if they have any theme in mind to have for the next social meet.
This will help you to get your members involvement and will also bridge the gap of discomfort, if any. In addition, you can also circulate a survey to your members what they hope to gain from your event.
And post event, a survey on the feedback, to ensure everyone is enjoying their membership.
It often happens that one creates his own group in excitement and later the involvement tends to fade out. This might risk your group’s shelf life. Thus, it is especially important for you to be consistent on your group discussions and try to make other members to actively take part in it too.
You must also set the cadence so that members are at once aware of the ebbs and flows of activity in the group.
Overall, creating and running your own networking group is not that difficult. All you need to be in consistent and allow it to nurture organically. Strive to get active participation from all the members and talk to them if they have any concern or are not deriving the benefits that they had expected, work on them and make your members happy.
Nothing will then stop you from making your own created networking group from good to great!
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