How to use local networking to build your business

by Michele on May 1, 2012

How solopreneurs can use local networking(Update: The live call is over, but the recording is available at the links below.  Click the link to grab your free recording!)

One of my core business philosophies is to test and revise.  I try something I think will work, measure how well it works and revise my plan after that.  I did the same with a full year of local, in-person networking and decided it wasn’t worth it and I focused on the internet to build my business.

Another one of my core philosophies is to always be learning.  I tend to change my mind a lot because I’m dedicated to truth, not consistency.  What I’ve recently learned is that I didn’t network nearly as well as I thought I did.

During the course of my networking year, I met over 200 people (keeping track was part of my measurement process).  I sent every one a personalized follow up email, met a few for coffee and offered some of my free material to people who seemed interested.  I’m outgoing and curious, so conversation comes naturally to me and I read a lot of “how to network” articles.  I thought I was doing great because I was doing so much more than almost everyone I met.  Of the 200+ people I met, only a few followed up with me and only a few even acknowledged my personalized email.

At the end of that year, I decided that networking wasn’t worth it because although it was great fun it wasn’t generating business for me.  I only generated a small amount of business from my efforts, and when you consider that each of the 2-5 events per month I attended was about a 5 hour investment the math just didn’t work out.

Fast forward to this year, and what I’ve learned is that I didn’t have the right knowledge or strategy going into my networking efforts.  To fix this for myself and help you learn as well, I’ve asked sales and networking expert Don Talbert to teach networking skills for my community on a free teleseminar.  Don is the founder of the Centurion Group, and after he built his own successful business using networking he began to teach this skill to others.  I’ve had many interactions with him both in groups and one-on-one conversations and he really knows his stuff!  I’ve learned so much just getting ready for this call that I cannot wait to see what he teaches on the call!

If you’ve tried local networking but haven’t found success, please join me on this call – you’ll leave with strategies and tactics you can use right away.  As a bonus, he’ll also be sharing the best way to make sure you are the most disliked person in the room.  I’m a little nervous about this one – I hope I didn’t do whatever this is!

Reserve your spot here!


  1. Mozette says:

    Yesterday I went to a networking meet-up for writers in my area. About 20 of us showed up at a coffee shop and it was brilliant fun! Seeing I live in a unit/townhouse complex where nobody talks to each other, I find it hard to find another writer to communicate with. However with these people, I have a group now where I can talk about what I do.
    We had three international writers who didn’t talk to any of us and then skipped out on paying for their food and drink… idiots. But then, you get people like that.
    When the numbers dwindled to about 5 of us, we got in and talked seriously about how lonely it can get when you’re the only writer in your area and what you can do about it. I told the group what I live with (neighbours always moving, people who are constantly fighting and people who have an unnamed hatred for me for no reason) and they wonder how I do it. But really, it keeps my mind going with my work… so does gardening.

    This writer’s networking meet-up was something I really needed. It’s not that I felt like I was in a rut, but I needed to connect with the right people in this industry now. Yes, I’m writing my stuff, but now I need to find the right people to help me get my books off the ground – the editors, the copy writers, the proof-readers, the agents – these are the people who will show at these meetings and I’ll be going to them now.

    1. Michele says:

      Mozette, you make a really good point here – that networking is about more than building your business. When you work at home, you need to create time to be with like-minded people.

  2. Hi Michele –
    Oh my gosh! Your post sounds EXACTLY like what I did this past year (year one as a solopreneur) and I came to precisely the same conclusion. I may not be able to be on the call tomorrow for the entire time, but I’m signed up and eager to hear what Don has to say. Thanks for your candor and for identifying this area as one where many of us are not shining the way we want and need to be!
    Peace –

    1. Michele says:

      Thanks for your comment Kimberly! The call was great and Don really delivered. I’ll be sending out the recording soon, and I’d love to hear what you think. I’m actually getting ready to get back into going to networking events so I’ll be curious to compare notes with you on how it goes after hearing Don’s strategies.


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