Brand building is in essential part of creating a successful business. Few small business owners will dispute this, but they have different philosophies on the best approach to take. One of the biggest questions many business owners ask themselves is whether attending networking events is an effective use of their time.
Should You be Relying on Networking Events?
Some entrepreneurs feel that networking events are incredibly important. Others have found them to be a total waste of their time. There are a couple reasons opinions on networking very, so you should learn about them to decide whether it’s worth your time.
Look for Different Networking Groups
If you I haven’t had great luck at some of the networking events you’ve attended, then it may be best to try different ones. Some networking organization such as Rotary are more focused on community betterment than business development. Other groups are more focused on socializing, such as many of the informal mixers that you may have attended.
These groups certainly have their purposes, but they may not help you generate many leads. Many small business owners tend to have much more success through BNI, entrepreneurial mastermind groups and industry specific referral networks. You may want to explore these options if other networking events have proved fruitless.
Consider the Nature of Your Target Customer
Many business owners attend a lot of professional networking organization such as BNI. They often try to pressure their friends to join, because they feel they were a great way to drum up business.
While they may have found these groups to be beneficial, that doesn’t mean you’ll have the same experience. Your business goals and target market are unique, so it’s important that you find a lead generation strategy that supports them.
The obvious goal of networking is to generate high quality leads. Some professionals find certain networking events to be a better investment than others, simply because of the leads they are pursuing. If you aren’t finding many leads through a particular networking group, then it may be best to find another that is better suited to your target market.
Effectiveness of Other Marketing Channels
There are endless ways to promote your business. Digital marketing has been one of the most cost-effective ways for many businesses to generate leads. Paid referrals are also great for many businesses.
If you are having a lot of success with one of these approaches, then attending networking events may not be the best use of your time. On the other hand, networking events are the bread-and-butter for many others.