Photo by brittanyg on Unsplash

Forget in-person networking…

I haven’t gone to a networking meeting or conference in more than 5 years.

Yet, I have a people-centric business (training/coaching/mentoring)… and it’s thriving more than ever.

I don’t know about you, but I never enjoyed in-person networking:

The only time I’ll make the effort to attend an in-person gathering is if I’m the speaker, given time to speak to the audience for at least 30 minutes.

Otherwise, don’t count on my RSVP…

The Time Cost of In-Person Networking:

Total time it cost you to go to an in-person networking meeting? Probably 3–4 hours front to end… maybe more.

There are better things to do with your time.

If you care about growing your business, here are smarter ways to spend those 3–4 hours, instead of in-person networking:

1. Reach Out to The Right People Online

Imagine showing up at a meeting and immediately being able to teleport to just the right person you want to meet.

How to reach out?

In the same 3 or 4 hours it takes you to do in-person networking, you could research and thoughtfully connect to maybe 12–16 of the right people. In a physical networking meeting you’d be lucky to find 3-4 people that you actually want to connect with.

Sure, you won’t have a 100% connection rate, but that’s also true with in-person networking… even when you follow up!

Try it out. It saves time, and can build your business more quickly.

2. Create Content so that Others Reach Out To You

An alternative is content creation.

In 3 hours, you could probably make a video or write a blog post (it doesn’t have to be as lengthy as my posts!) and then buy a Facebook Ad for $15 to reach 1,000 of the right people.

I recommend learning how to use the Facebook Ads features of “detailed targeting” and “lookalike audiences.” To learn it from me, take my online course re: Facebook Ads.

This way, you’re building credibility and connections with many people at once. You draw others to reach out to you — potential clients and referral sources — instead of you reaching out to them.

Either way, whether you get skillful at online networking, or content creation, you will spend time more wisely, compared to networking in-person with strangers.

Of course you may enjoy being with groups of people. If so, do it socially. Do it for fun, without the pressure of professional networking.

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity"