Tags – Expanding Network Across Cities
In each of our training sessions on SEO, we ask this same question: If you were in a room with a 1,000 other people, who would you think has the most authority there?
You may look to answer the question from the perspective of:
- Who invited all these people?
- Is the event hosted by an individual?
- How rich are the people there?
In each of these cases, the answer is: The person with the most authority in the room is the person with the largest network.
In particular, a large network in the given situation means that the person was able to pull the grand number of people. Now, this person may not be the richest. But, the ability to draw on resources when needed is a sign of authority in human groups.
But, this is not the end of the consideration here.
The Importance of Quality
Some of you may still be considering the richest to be the most authoritative. However, things are not always this straight-forward.
The richest may have simply won the lottery. And, I don’t need to tell you the statistics behind what happens to most lottery winners.
Similarly, a network may be a compilation of drug dealers and alike, which, powerful in its own sense does not stand helpful in most situations in civilised life.
So, it is important to have a network full of quality, which in itself will help you spread your business and authority. But, how do you build that network?
Across this front, most people understand how to grow your local network: You can go to events and put yourself there. Building a network across cities has a couple of extra steps.
How to Grow Your Network Across Cities?
If you expected us to tell you about mailing lists, you are in the wrong place. When we say network, we mean meeting real people behind real businesses.
Let’s combine this with our focus of converting digital connections into physical ones: (It goes without saying that you should be willing to travel for your business. We cover this further in: Are You Travelling Enough for Your Business?).
LinkedIn is the number 1 social media network to connect with other business professionals. However, instead of connecting with people at random, know the kind of people you want to connect with.
To get more specific, we suggest subscribing to one of the LinkedIn premium options. This will allow you to specify your targets by a number of factors, including location, industry, and even seniority levels.
Once you have the list, send a personalised connection request. Through this method you will close about 50% of the requests. You can tweak this number further based on, for instance, targeting active people or sending a message that shows clearer value for your targets to connect with you.
Then, as you can imagine, arrange to meet your new connections.
Pro Tip – If you have some extra time, interact with the posts of your targets before sending a request. This will improve your chances of getting accepted even further.
In addition, we have also made a video on how to use LinkedIn for networking, that you can check here:
Your next challenge is to professionalise meeting your new connections.
Here, simply messaging and agreeing to meet is generally not enough. Half of the people may not even show up. Therefore, you need to be able to add people to a set calendar. In addition, a couple of notifications also help.
In our case, we use calendly. The free app allows you to create multiple events, set them for a multitude of lengths, and set notifications as you see fit. Generally, we set 3 notifications.
- A confirmation email after a connection has picked a time to meet
- A 24 hour email notice before the commencement of the people
- A 2 hour text message to notify for the go-ahead.
Also, calendly can be easily synced with your other calendars, e.g Outlook and Google Calendars, making it easy to keep all your meetings in the same place while using a more user-friendly interface for your connections.
In terms of location, pick a nice hotel with a bar and meet there.
3. Eventbrite / Meetup
It takes time to build a network.
Specifically, once you have decided that you will be in a different city, chances are that you will not be able to fill all your time meeting people, at least the 1st time.
Therefore, it is advisable to build a couple of events around your business to attract a different group of people. For instance, when we know that we will be travelling to Birmingham or London for instance, we create an event on Eventbrite around SEO. Even without any marketing, this always pulls a few people.
Also, if you are able to bring a few of your local connections along you, Meetup is great for group activities. In our case, we set up a coworking event in every city we go to. And, again, this pulls a few people into the network.
Through these methods, the lowest number of people we have ever pulled is 10. Not bad for initial efforts of building a network.
However, as we push with the idea of coworking, we have seen a few problems pop up with the whole expectations behind the idea. So it’s good to stay on top of how you are going to execute your whole intentions.
To provide some further context, here’s our full take on what’s currently wrong with the concept of coworking.
Once you have built an initial network, you need to stay connected.
Here, we suggest using Hubspot to send your event list to the people who are interested in social activities. In our case, we keep the options and hence reminders to a maximum of 4 per month in our city of residence, i.e. Leicester. While, to the cities that we will be travelling to, we keep this at once a month. Simply, too many emails is harmful in its own sense.
In reality, if you are able to meet your network a couple of times a year, you are fine.
Growing your network is a snowball effect.
In the long run, you need an extensive amount of time to build and maintain relationships. However, if you look at this process from a social development of your business, you will be able to get far more than business growth out of it.
To learn more, get in touch with us today.
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