Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 List of Indianapolis Area Networking Recommendations

As the marketer of a small business, I have found many ways this year to get my business known. To help those that may need some direction, or are just looking for something new, here are my recommendations:

Social Media:
~Blog. Don't know what to write? Set up Google Alerts and check your email outbox.
~Smaller Indiana and other Ning sites relative to your business. The interaction is priceless.
~Twitter. Twitter. Twitter. If you don't think you should do it... You're wrong.
~Facebook-It's not just for friends. You can also create fan pages for your business and charities.


Local Offline Networking:
~BNI-International Networking. Chapters meet weekly and pass referrals with each meeting.
~Rainmakers-Meetings around Indiana nearly every day of the month.
~NOWIB-For Women only, and has great special interest groups.
~Chambers of Commerce-Local businesses networking. Monthly meetings with other after hours events.


Service Groups and other groups that make our world a better place:
~Find events that are accepting of in-kind donations for sponsorships. If you don't have a large budget, offer your services or product in return for the level of sponsorship you desire.
~Kiwanis-Groups of business people that genuinely care about making a difference in children's lives. Host events and carry out service projects to raise money for children's needs and other family and community catastrophes. There are also branches of Kiwanis for the youth to join; Key Club, Builder's Club, and K Kids are a few.
~Boys & Girls Clubs-These clubs provide a safe place for children under the age of 18 to come after school and receive homework help, participate in sports, and to learn how to interact with other youth under the supervision of approved staff and volunteers.
~Girl Scouts-Everyone has heard of Girl Scouts. Most have eaten Girl Scout cookies. If you have been wanting to make a difference in a girl's life, Girl Scouts is the best way to have a direct effect on a group of girls. So many girls don't have positive influences in their lives, and if you can provide that for one to twelve girls, you will have a whole new outlook on life.
~Local Schools-So many parents are working full time jobs these days, which leaves the classrooms and PTO's short of volunteers. Contact a school near you today to see how you can help.

My biggest recommendation is to utilize social media in every way that you possibly can. Social media is the cheapest and most effective way to connect, stay connected, and stay on people's minds. You must put in the sweat equity to make it work for you. Just having a blog or just having a Twitter account won't cut it. You HAVE to work it.

After you attend events and get those business cards and exchange that first phone call or email, take it to the next level; connect via at least one social media platform. You will learn so much more about your network and their needs if you stay connected online.

If you have questions about anything written here, please contact me:
nicki at squishdesigns.com

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3 comments:

Paula Henry said...

Nicki - I didn't know about this site - you are one busy lady and this list proves is priceless.

Happy New Year!

Hazel Walker said...

Great list Nicki! Love the new photo!

Hazel

Praveen said...

Very Impressive Article

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