One of the first steps toward networking your business is to become more visible in the community. Remember that people need to know you, like you and trust you in order to refer you. Volunteering can position you to meet key people in your community. It connects you with people who share your passion. Volunteering gives you opportunities to demonstrate your talents, skills, and integrity, as well as your ability to follow up and do what you say you are going to do. It instantly expands the depth and breadth of your network.
Volunteering is not a recreational activity: it’s a serious commitment. Remember that people need to know you. They need to like you, trust you, in order to refer you. Volunteering can actually position you in order for you to meet key people in the community- a connection with people who share your passion. I believe that people who volunteer demonstrate their commitment to a cause without concern for personal gain. Thus, you should be volunteering with organizations which you have genuine interest in and concern about. So to find an organization or a cause that relates with your interests, you need to approach volunteerism with a healthy level of thought and strategy. How do you decide which organization to support?
Here are a few things to think about when you choosing a service organization to volunteer at:
- What are three organizations that you can identify that appeal to you? Choose the one that most appeals to you and research the group online.
- Will that group give you the opportunity to meet one of your professional or personal goals? Will you have an opportunity to connect with other people who will be supportive of your business?
- After visiting the group, do you still want to make a final commitment of your time?
- Are other group members satisfied with the organization?
It is really important to get to know your referral partners better so that you can pass referrals to them. Ask others during your one-to-one’s a few of these questions about their volunteering activities:
- What do you enjoy doing in your spare time, and is there any connection to serving the community?
- What hobbies do you enjoy, and do they provide any opportunities for volunteering?
- What brings you joy and satisfaction?
- What social or health issues are you passionate about?
Volunteering is a great way to get visibility in your community. It’s a great way to build your personal network. Don’t be a cave dweller. Get out, connect with your community and volunteerism is a great way to do that. I encourage you to do so.