How to create a network

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Have you ever wanted to gather people for a great cause? What about creating opportunities to promote a business? Or, a resource hub where people can share knowledge?

Creating a network can be a daunting experience, but not impossible. With good planning and organization, the reward can be beneficial. But, you might wonder how to start.

Begin by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What will the network group be about?  
  • Are you interested in discussing a community issue? 
  • Interested in networking your business?
  • Or, do you want to discuss a particular hobby you are passionate about?

Once you have your topic for discussion all squared away, think about who will be your target audience. You may find prospective individuals on your email list, through coworkers, relatives, business partners, or social media friends—anyone you feel would be a good fit for your network group. Don't worry if you do not have a big group at the beginning, start small and work your way up. Remember, the people who accept your initial invitation might bring others to join.

Today, we are busier than ever before. There may be more than a few times when your schedule will not fit with your network group. How will you connect with them? Will you meet via phone, email, social media, or video chat? Are you the type who likes to stay connected with others in real time, or would you be able to get an idea about how everyone's feeling through email or social media?

Experience has taught me that connecting with others via video chat or phone has worked to stay in tune with what they are thinking and feeling. The plus side of having a cell phone is that most have a video chat option, but an old fashioned phone call will work, too.

Lastly, how often do you want to stay in touch with your network group? Once a week, monthly, every three months? Doing your best to keep in mind each other's schedules will help you successfully schedule your network meetings. Once that is ironed out, you will be on your way to having the network of your dreams.