Catchy title huh? :-)

There has been plenty of talk from social media and small business consultants about the importance of fusing traditional networking with online “social” networking. It is one of the more important things you can do as a business development head or owner of a small to mid-sized business.

Networking has always been at the core of sales for small business owners. Since starting my company two years ago… networking (both online and offline) have driven business to my firm…But do you know what released the flood gates?

Combining my offline networking with my online networking.

John Jantsch hit the nail on the head when he said in his recent post about becoming a social company:

“(social) firms are much easier to refer because they are more deeply connected and socially involved in every facet of their ecosystem”

We can talk for hours about selling online but the real value for business owners is becoming social company and working hard to network both in an online environment and offline environment.

The main thing to remember is that you have to BELIEVE in networking. You have the opportunity to becoming involved with hundreds of people in your immediate location.

So what are the steps to networking online and offline?

1. Join an offline networking group. (I personally use Rainmakers and Confluence here in Indianapolis)

2. Join a locally based online networking group (ie Smaller Indiana)

3. Join a national network and use search functions to locate users in your area. (Twitter and Twitter Search)

You will be pleasantly surprised and remember… it is a way of life and a tool for your business.

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