In a digital world, how important is it to connect in person?

Carlie Parkinson - Covet GirlA guest post by Carlie Parkinson from Covet Girl.

With Social Media being all the rage, we find ourselves in front of screens more and in front of people less. Does this mean we don’t need to meet the person behind the profile? No, I think it means we need to make the effort that much more to get out and meet people in person.

The importance of networking is definitely a hot topic. There are even experts that focus on helping you network, like Heather White of Smarter Networking (www.smarter-networking.com). Getting out there and meeting people one-on-one provides impact and building meaningful relationships is the way to advance your business. Similar to the resurgence of supporting independent businesses rather than big corporates, in this digital age, people want to know the people they are working. So where do you go to meet new people?

I have had the pleasure of going to 4 different networking groups, each with their own advantages and approach. I recommend trying them all and seeing which group you gel with best. There is also the option of being a member of more than one!

  1. Women Unlimited (http://www.womenunlimitedworldwide.com) – The monthly London business clubs, held at the British Library, are great events to learn about a new topic – such as affiliate marketing or a beginners guide to SEO and meet fellow business owners.
  2. The Oyster Club – With breakfast, dinner and drinks events, the Oyster Club is a great place for personal development as well as networking with influential men and women in London.
  3. Women In Business (WIBN) (http://www.wibn.co.uk/) and,
  4. Athena (http://www.theathenanetwork.com)  – These groups take a similar approach with monthly meetings held all over the city and with the same core members every month, allowing you to build strong relationships. The primary goal is to support each other through referrals and by working with each other, which is why the expertise of each member is limited to one per group.

The key to building in-person relationships is putting effort into meeting people off-line. If you have tweeted with the same person on a regular basis and find their business to be in good synergy to your own, why not arrange a time to meet for coffee. This way you can share ideas and see how you can build work together to spread the word about one another’s business. As we know, the best marketing results come from referrals and word of mouth. So next time, you’re tweeting or mentioning someone online think about how you can take the relationship off-line and make it even more powerful.

About the author

Carlie Parkinson is writing a book celebrating female entrepreneurs and all they have accomplished. Covet Girl is a guide to London’s top female owned businesses, sharing with you details about the woman behind the business. Find out more at www.covetgirl.com, follow on twitter.com/covetgirl, like at https://www.facebook.com/CovetGirl.

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