In 2006, I launched the Sacramento Speakers Network with five people at a coffee shop. Today, we no longer fit in a coffee shop, and pack the house at our monthly meeting. The truth is that I call this group a “happy accident.” My sole intention when it started was to network with other speakers in the area. But over the years, leading the group has brought me clients, speaking invitations, media interviews, corporate sponsorships, and tremendous visibility with the local business community.
I run my group with www.meetup.com, a fabulous tool for organizing local groups and events. In any given city, you can find a wide variety of options from business-related groups, singles groups, hiking clubs, religious organizations, political interest groups, book clubs, and much, much more.
Consider how leading a group could help establish you as an authority in your own community. Even if you operate a global business, you will find many benefits when connecting with clients in your own backyard. Here are some ideas:
- A business consultant who works with nonprofits could start a business group for nonprofit leaders.
- A career coach could start a group for job seekers.
- A professional organizer could start a group for the “chronically messy.”
- A nutritionist could start a healthy-living group.
- An executive coach could start a C-level business community.