Your Perfect Prospects Are in Y. O. B.

by Jackie Ulmer

Let's face it: at some point in your network marketing career, you are going to reach that point where you feel your warm market is tapped out, and you are struggling to find those "two a day" (or more) to talk to about your business. That's what it takes to be successful, right?

So, who are you going to talk to and where are you going to find them? Here's the good news: your perfect prospects are in Your Own Backyard—and now, through the power of social media, it is easier than ever to tap into that market.

Today, 8 out of 10 people are looking for financial relief. This means they are open to exploring other methods of earning a part-time or even full-time income. The challenge is that no one walks around with a sign around their neck stating this. And, often, it's an uncomfortable topic to bring up.

There are three great social media tools for finding and connecting with these people, right in your local area: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Meetup! While they all provide ways to connect with others, they are similar and at the same time, very different—and this is important to know if you want to use them optimally.

Facebook is a great way to expand your contacts by connecting with friends of those who you already know, and also through its highly popular Groups. Use the search feature and the keywords specific to the type of group and location you are looking to target. Facebook is more social, more open to "self-promotion" although I encourage you to stay away from this if you really want to make the most of the opportunity you have to make productive business contacts.

LinkedIn has a very active Groups section, and this is actually the key piece to LinkedIn. Using the Groups tab, you can get recommendations based on your profile and connections; search groups based on your own criteria, and even start your own group. You can target professional groups you are familiar with.

For instance, you may be a real estate agent, building your network marketing business on the side. Real Estate groups would be a natural place for you to meet others in your same field, develop relationships and friendships, and ultimately broach the subject of your business, ask for referrals, etc.

Many of the LinkedIn groups do face-to-face meet ups on a regular basis, so you can easily take things to a new level by getting to know people outside of the online arena. LinkedIn is a professional environment, so most of the groups and meetings are geared to professionals. You want to have your "business suit" on when you are navigating the site and making connections.

Then, there is, a resource few networkers are using to its full potential! Meetup is probably the best tool out there for finding people of all different interests and activities. Are you a hiker, love Zumba, looking for a book club, like to attend Sunday Brunch? You will find a little of everything that fits your interests at Meetup! Regularly attending a small select group of meet-ups can easily and effectively expand your list of contacts and provide an ongoing source of valuable potential prospects and referrals for your business.

As you attend events and make contacts, remember that you are looking to establish rapport and build a relationship first. Have a plan to get to know those who you meet who might be great prospects by scheduling coffee or lunch, just to get to know each other. This is not where you introduce your business, unless it lends itself naturally to the conversation. You are just meeting to get to know each other.

As you become a regular at these events, and people begin to know, like and trust you, it is easy to ease into a conversation about what you do, and who you are looking for as a customer or business partner. And, if you are relocating and wondering how you are going to expand your business, look to Meetup first as a way to get out, and meet people. You may need to attend a few different groups to find the ones that fit you best, but remember you always have an unlimited source of potential business partners just a meet-up away!

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