5 Tips for Networking Through Community Service

Networking through community service is a win-win situation.  Your company will benefit from the exposure and you will feel good knowing that you are helping your community.  Also, you will be able to network with people whom you can help and people who can help you, all while contributing to a good cause.

The 5 Tips For Networking Through Community Service

1. Participate in a community event - Many events are held throughout the year in which you can donate to a charity or school in exchange for space to promote your business. Treat these events like a trade show and have something to draw people to your booth, such as a giveaway.  Also, be sure to have plenty of materials in order to educate prospects about what you do.

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Be creative in getting the contact information from everyone who comes over to your booth. You might want to have a drawing for a prize or simply a place for people to sign up for discounts. Also, remember to network with other business owners while you are there.  

2. Hold your own fundraiser - Holding your own fundraiser can take a lot of work, but the publicity you may receive will more than make up for the time and effort spent planning.  In addition, you can feel good knowing that you are helping to raise money for the charity of your choice.  Furthermore, holding a fundraiser is a great way to draw a crowd of people, which means you will have plenty of people to network with. 

3. Network quality over quantity - If your goal is to simply get as many business cards as you can, you may be wasting your time.  Instead, try to focus on letting others know how you can help them.  If you try to get as many business cards as you can, you will not be able to spend a whole lot of time building quality contacts.  People are likely to forget you if you spend 30 seconds talking to them only to rush off to the next prospect.

4. Volunteer - Holding a volunteer position in an organization is a great way to meet people and build your network.  As an added bonus, you may even learn a new skill.  Many organizations need help from people who are willing to volunteer their time.

5. Follow-up - Always make the time to follow-up with any prospects that you meet through your networking.  if you let too much time-lapse, you may lose the opportunity to gain a new customer.  Following up is an important part of building business relationships and should not be neglected.

Summary

Networking is a great way to build your business, and networking while helping others is a win-win situation.  Remember to take the time to build these new business relationships.  Networking can be a mutually beneficial relationship, and it may even end up being your "safety net" during difficult times.  Do not procrastinate- take time to find out how your company can participate in a community event and start increasing your business network.

 

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