So often in the business world, you sooner or later have to travel and make connections. Networking on its own is hard but doing it in a new city can take it to another level of difficulty. How do you find people to meet? How do you figure out what can be beneficial for your business? What resources can you gather long distance?
When you find yourself in a different city, state, or perhaps even country, you need to be aware that our world is globalized enough that your business can be affected by anyone anywhere. The need to make connections across different areas is only going to become more and more important with time.
So how can you network outside of your region? First, you should ask yourself what you can benefit from having connections with folks from somewhere outside of your region, and that answer can take many forms.
- You could eventually expand to that region
- Take your business online
- Collaborate with other businesses and leaders
- Find better ways to create your project
- Do research on similar businesses who are succeeding in what you want to do
Once you have a specific goal, a future outcome that you know you can benefit from, then you can ask yourself “who do I know around here that can help me get to my goal?”
It’s ok to stretch your contacts out and meet a friend-of-a-friend or even a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, just say that you’re someone of such and such industry and make a comment about how you can be helpful to them. Remember, networking is a two-way streak.
Some might ignore you, but our world is full of awesome people who are happy to meet someone new to the city and help out. As long as you are one of those awesome people yourself, then you should be able to find folks.
Find something that works for you.
When you start networking, you should know where your strengths and weaknesses are. Some folks are better at being in a larger group while others are more introverted and prefer a one-to-one conversation over coffee. Whatever you do, make sure you be yourself and enjoy the process. The goal is networking, but making friends is an added benefit that you deserve to take advantage of, so long as you’re responsible about the relationships you develop.
At the end of the day, networking is all about making your business contacts as wide and expansive as possible. Be sure to find unique ways you can offer long distance support to others and remember that as the world is globalizing, so should your business.