If someone had told me five years ago that I would be the organizer of a Meetup group with over 100 members that discusses online business and marketing strategies, I would have told them that they were smoking crack.
In case you have never heard of Meetup.com, it’s an online platform to help people organize “in-person” meetings.
Prior to Hware (HumanityWare), I was NOT interested in the online world, computers, technology, or any type of geek gadget. I saw them all as “necessary evils” that were much too frustrating and complicated to learn about and not worth the return on investment.
Yes, I did own an Internet-based company back in the late 90s, which I later sold, but even then, I saw it as a complex tool to do business. If you think e-commerce is difficult now, it was really user-unfriendly back then.
Fast forward to today where business is becoming more entwined with online tools and you can see why some entrepreneurs think that building relationships over the Internet is sufficient to grow their business. However, that is just not the case.
Yes, there are some very cool technology tools that make for a great face-to-face substitute, like live streaming, live video chat, and live web trainings. I predict those technologies will continue to become more ubiquitous in the future as they have already become very effective tools for businesses to connect with their customer base.
Yet, in spite of all our technological advancements of bringing us closer together by allowing us to connect online, I still believe in the power of meeting in person.
Here are 4 reasons why in-person meetings
still matter in building your business.
It’s much easier to read somebody’s energy, body language, and social cues in person rather than through a computer screen. Understanding this “real-time” feedback gives you an opportunity to personalize your message and it is especially advantageous for negotiations, critical meetings, and schmoozing.
An in-person interaction, such as a smile, a handshake, and direct eye contact, builds tremendous trust and likability versus the anonymity that can come from an online interaction. Nothing is more powerful than meeting with someone in person when it comes to building trust.
You can influence your customers, partners, vendors, and employees much more effectively in person than through a computer monitor. Don’t get me wrong here. I love the power of using online tools that help me get my message across, but when I want to influence someone, I always try to make sure that I meet with them in person if I can.
The ultimate reason to meet with people in person is to build your sphere of networks. Whether it be for prospective partnerships or customers, you can never underestimate the power of growing your sphere of network base.
This summer, my Meetup group is celebrating our one-year anniversary, and each month I always leave our meetings feeling connected, inspired, and energized by the incredible networking that takes place.
So step away from your computer monitor and get out there and start meeting people. Relationships are critical to your success. Surely, there is a Meetup with like-minded folks near you. And if there isn’t, then start your own. Here’s the blog post I wrote on how I started mine.
If you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods in Northern California, stop by and visit Nevada County Online Business Strategies Meetup group. I also belong to a gardening Meetup group too. It’s called Garden Goddesses. The women and our monthly potluck meals are fabulous! Now go join or start a Meetup group now!