Grass Roots Networking

By Christina Suter on Oct 05, 2019 at 07:00 AM in Business Issues
Grass Roots Networking

How to Network at a Live Event

You have a purpose, a reason you do your business, you being an expert will help you fulfill that purpose. Being an expert is how you earn the respect of those around you and how you get their permission to make a difference. The difference between brand X and Coca Cola is Coke has a clear branding strategy. Coca Cola is seen as soda experts because of its clear and consistent messaging. Be an expert in your community. 

Invest in being an expert in your field and make it easy for people to choose you.

Expert- you know your stuff and you're willing to share 'your stuff'.
In the community- the sharing of your stuff with the people who need to learn what you're teaching; be find-able. Instead of you feeling like you have to push your brand out, people will start finding you because your community will be spread wide by you sharing. 

You don't have to be sales-y or do a lot of marketing to be an expert in your community. I'm a goodhearted business owner, I have no interest in selling to people. My intention is to help them see that I have something they can benefit from. I have something valuable to offer them and I help them recognize what that is; it's natural versus sales-y. 

What are some strategies for helping people see your value without being sales-y? Let the other person do the talking, you ask open-ended questions and listen, they will tell you in so many words what their needs are. Listen for where they're stuck, what is it they're missing? Find out what their joy would be if they had their problem solved and then double back and tell them how you can help them find that joy. 

What Does Grassroots Mean?

I'm not a writer, but I understand people. I hire someone to do my social media and someone writes this blog for me using the content from my weekly radio show. I find in-person events to attend in my area and industry because I am most helpful to my business when I can speak in person to people. I suggest you check out sites like and find 4 meetings over the next four weeks to attend. One meeting a week will help you push through the discomfort of going and by the fourth time you'll be comfortable and have built the momentum and habit of going and engaging with people.

When you attend:

1. Have a business card
2. Arrive early
3. Plan to hand out 3 cards

In between each of those, ask questions. For example, if you're in the pet business, ask someone if they have a pet. Speak to their joy and then circle back around to telling them how you and your product/service can get them to their joy. Go prepared with an intro question that naturally and authentically asks them what you need to know regarding your business. Ask them about what they do or ask them what brings them to this event. Get them talking, listen, speak to their joy, tell them how you can ease their pain and give them your business card. 

My mentor says to set good intentions, (pray, meditate whatever you do) and walk in prepared with your questions, cards, and with the desire to help people. That is grassroots marketing; it's not sales-y, it's authentic and it's a natural way to engage. Also, when you show up early you have time to settle and people are now walking into your space where you're already comfortable, versus you being the newcomer walking into someone else's space. 

When you've done the four meetings, try to attend those same four meetings the next month and you will have begun the steps to becoming a part of a community. The more you show up and let people know who you are and show that you are an expert in your community, the greater the chances of them spreading your work to others.