I spend a lot of time in online groups. I am a member of 20 groups that I check in on a daily basis-- not 20 a day...but on mondays I have my list of five to check and post...tuesdays another 5...etc etc...I go to training seminars that a free or low cost and save money to attend one or two large events a year...I find though that unless I am a presenter, a guest speaker a moderator that I am chasing people rather than having them come to me...I also find that when I give away -- either blogs, or articles, advice or thoughts to other groups that people come to me. I do make sure that I send out birthday e cards and photos to stay connected and everyone I meet and really connect with goes in my outlook...That's my networking strategy...
Thank you for sharing with us from your experience with networking.
I think you are so right: offering help or informed advice to people around you is the best way to stay top of their mind. Would you like to share with us what results you usually get from your intense networking activity? For example: do the people you network with give you business referrals, do they become your direct clients or both? Did you ever quantify the results?
The reason why I'm asking is because networking, while being such a "given" nowadays, it is also taken for granted and it is hardly or never measured, like other marketing activities are.
In answer to your quetions about the intense networking...I am going to answer here and I am going to write an article about it.
The answer is yes, I do get clients and yes, i do get ancillary business. What I mean by this is that when I blog as an expert on other people's sites, groups, networking cafe's etc, people call me - they email me and the check out my site.
For example, recently I did a few blogs on Active Rain and 100 Day Challenge -- two specific sites that a real estate related. I talked about using virtuals and cutting costs along with sharing my point of view along with my heavily mentioning my company and website along with what it does...
From those two labors alone I cultivated 15 new friends (in one group)...had two people call me directly and hire me...and one person loved my company concept so much she put out an email to her client list as a service and my blog got 70 more unique visitors that day than usual -- some I am sure came from her...and I got some more virtuals because people recommend their friends to me...
so do I have hard numbers? no....do have I money that comes in as a direct result of positioning myself as an expert - yes....does that help?