If you depend solely on social media for your marketing, you’re missing a vast opportunity to market your business right in your own backyard.

With all the different social media platforms available today, it’s easy to focus your marketing time here because it’s less time consuming to engage from your computer than it is to attend real-life functions and talk to people in your community.

Your marketing goal should always be to build relationships with people who can benefit from your products or services. It’s never appropriate to push the hard sell on people you’ve just met. They don’t know you, so they likely won’t spend their hard-earned cash on your product or service.

The key is to build a foundation for a strong relationship by interacting with them at networking events, in addition to engaging them on social media. This establishes that know, like, and trust factor that may ultimately lead to them buying from you.

How to Get Started Networking Offline

The idea of walking into a room without knowing a single soul can no doubt be daunting. But the alternative of not sharing your story and your mission to those who may be seeking this exact answer to their problems is equally troubling. No matter how you want to start networking in real life, put on your brave face and tackle your social fears head-on.

  1. Join a Relevant Business Networking Group

Very often there are dozens of business networking groups and chambers of commerce spread across the country in every state, so you really can pick and choose which group is best for you. Yes, you want to reap a reward for being a part of the group, but your acceptance into any business group will depend on what you can contribute. After all, it’s all about building relationships. Some groups are more formal and have standard meeting rules, while others may be much more casual and usually smaller in scale.

Ask to visit a meeting or two before joining and never be afraid to ask questions about the other members or when the group was formed. It’s important to find the group that is right for you! One of my favorites is Polka Dot Powerhouse, a women’s connection group. I love it so much after joining that I formed a local chapter in my area. Polka Dot is definitely a group based off of relationships!

  1. Hold Live Workshops

What better way to showcase your authority and expertise than to speak to your local community! Turn an online webinar into a live presentation or create a presentation customized to your community’s needs. Contact your local library, business association or community college with your ideas, and very often if the presentation is unique and relevant to the community, you will get a booking.

Even if live events are not your forte, choose a topic you are passionate about and that you could speak about for hours. Your passion will carry through, and you’ll be less likely to be nervous or get tongue-tied. Make sure to collect business cards or to have attendees sign in so you can connect with them on social media and continue the relationship building.

  1. Volunteer in the Community

Look for groups or charities that are relevant to your experience, but don’t go in thinking you need to change everything. Building relationships should be a positive experience, so offer your guidance and input when asked. Otherwise, enjoy conversing with other volunteers, board members, and administrative personnel, all of whom hold the possibility of referring you to their family, friends, or other networking contacts.

Get the Action Steps You Need to Build Great Relationships

Watch my newest webinar titled, “5 Easy Ways to Build Relationships, Gain more clients, and Keep the ones you’ve got! ” to discuss everything from how to interact with your audience, how to face your fears, and more tips for personalizing your brand.

If you want to build relationships with the right community, simplify your marketing while focusing on the fun, or easily step up your product creation for more income. Click here to watch the replay!