Last week our blog on networking touched on the strength of social media and the opportunities it can create in helping to grow and expand the reach of your business. This week I’m going to discuss networking face to face — a more traditional, but equally as powerful method of meeting new people and developing potential leads.
Face to Face
After discovering the world of Facebook’s property networking groups, Jono and I booked onto some property and business networking events in the London area. We then began researching who would be speaking and attending the different events, making sure we followed as many of the speakers and organisers on social media and understood their backgrounds and specialities.
One of the events we attended was held at Mercedes Benz World in Brooklands, just outside London. I have been to this event a couple of times before and enjoy the setting (basically, you are just surrounded by cool cars and race tracks!) and the ethos of ‘providing value’ that Mark Stokes of EquaGroup brings to the organisation. The speakers included the founders of Simple Equity (a crowdfunding platform for property), Jane Scroggs (investor relations manager at East Eight Developments) and John Corey (of Property Fortress, an online property community).
Having read all of the speaker’s profiles online, I was keen to try and chat to them before or after the event with the hope of building a relationship that might in turn help publicise the SYZO brand. In true Gary Vee style I went directly on Facebook and sent them all messages asking if I could meet with them 1:1 in the afternoon prior to the evening network event. John Corey was the only response and we set a time to have a chat to see how he could help. Easy as that, you don’t ask, you don’t get!
On the day the meeting with John was great. His experience and knowledge proved invaluable and he identified some areas of improvement for our slide and pitch deck as well as reassuring me that we had a viable idea (sometimes necessary!). I was really impressed and, to tell you the truth, a little star struck as John is a bit of a business rock star (check out his profile on LinkedIn) but his encouragement gave us a lot of confidence. Having opened up a relationship with John we hope to tap into a larger network of property developers looking to harness the power of ‘the crowd’ to fund future projects. Again, the power of the network is key.
Rolling on from that Jono and I networked our butts off over the course of the evening and spoke with as many people as possible, offering help and support where we could. We were also sure to keep our Instagram story updated, tagging East Eight in a couple of posts. Jane’s talk was really interesting and raised a few pertinent points regarding on-going relationships with ‘the crowd’. This included running site visits and information evenings for those that had bought shares, which has proved to be great for building a tribe of loyal investors using the Simple Equity platform.
Overall I can’t stress enough how important it is to build and strengthen your network at every opportunity, not only in person but on social media too.
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