How to Network Within Your Community

How to Network Within Your Community
Guest Blogger Michael Stephenson

Oriental practices, like acupuncture, offer many benefits to human health. As a practitioner, you are in a unique position to bring these benefits to the mainstream. You get to help people while doing something you enjoy. But, it’s not all fun and games. Sometimes, you have to focus on the business aspect. Networking is one of these.

Florida State Oriental Medical Association presents today’s blog as just one of many valuable resources for members.

Who to Network With

Networking is all about meeting people and establishing relationships. When you network, you build bridges between yourself and other professionals that open up opportunities to forge new partnerships. You also have an opportunity to swap referrals back and forth, which can help you expand your client base. Keep in mind, as ZenBusiness explains, that networking can also help you find employees as the vast majority of positions are filled by networking.

In addition to building your professional network, it’s a smart idea to build relationships within your community, too. Not only does getting involved with your community increase brand awareness, but it’s also great for employee morale and can boost you above the competition. Remember, people want to do business with names and faces they know and trust .

Ways to Network

You probably already know that one of the best ways to network is to join a networking group, such as BNI and the American Marketing Association. But, there are countless other opportunities to meet and greet your colleagues and contemporaries. These include:

  • Join community health events. Your local mall, school, or even hospital may have events planned that focus on community health. Contact these organizations to find out about setting up a booth.
  • Speak at schools. If you live in an area where there are lots of colleges and universities, don’t overlook the student and faculty bodies as a valuable pool of potential clients or workers. You can become a college speaker by first learning about problems that face these demographics. Write up a proposal, and, most importantly, do not turn it into a sales pitch. Provide valuable information and insight, and answer questions as they arise.
  • Join classes. Even if you’re an expert in your industry, there’s nothing wrong with joining a few classes or lectures that touch on topics within your profession. Florida State Oriental Medical Association has an active calendar of events that you can attend to not only learn but also meet and greet others in your field.
  • The internet. Not all networking has to be done in person to be effective. Look online for groups, which are often found on social media, that can help you build your reputation and network in your hometown and beyond.

Networking Tips

As you attend your networking events, classes, and conferences, keep in mind that showing up isn’t your only task. You also need to make an impression. The Prosperity Place blog explains that you should dress appropriately for each event. You’ll also want to be prepared with plenty of business cards and a “get to know you” attitude. Don’t be shy about sitting with people you don’t know, but also don’t focus on just one person. Work the room. Most of all, bring your smile and confidence.

Networking is one of the most valuable things that you will do for your business. Not only is it a great way to build up your professional contact list, but it’s also a highly effective marketing tool. There are many ways to network, all you have to do is look for the right opportunities and show up ready to create relationships that perpetuate success.

Giving a Talk

Image via Pexels

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