The saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” is one of the most accurate cliches. In any field, it helps to know people. And the benefit of networking is rarely given full credit. To those who are aspiring to build a business or start their own community group, networking is your key to success. You may not have full funding or a team of 100 people, but having a coalition of people across fields will help make up that difference.
It is important to meet and connect with as many people as possible. These relationships will undoubtedly help in the future. Maybe you need a volunteer for an event or legal advice. The people you know will be able to help advance your goals.
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No one was ever successful at building a movement without networking and community engagement. The most fruitful movements start with grassroots organizing by knocking on as many doors, striking as many conversations, and building as many coalitions as possible.
My favorite networking technique is “tabling”. Here’s a picture from Lehigh Valley’s Pride in the Park last August:
It was a fantastic event where my team was able to spread the organization’s mission and meet new faces. Out of the hundreds of people I met, many are now excited and ready to help advance my mission.
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One of the reasons this event is so successful, is the table price. Many events charge astronomical prices for space. These fees can range from $250 to even $2500. Lehigh Valley Pride only charges $25 for a non electric 10 by 10 space. It is an amazing price to start engaging with the community and networking with other community leaders.
Cover image link: network-connections.jpg