Overwhelmed by the thought of networking?
Many people starting a business or prepping themselves for the job market understand it will take some time and money investment. But with so many options and opportunities, where do you even start? Especially when you are on a shoe-string budget! Here are some inexpensive ideas that provide a great value for little or no money. You have probably have already heard of these, but maybe you just haven't pull the trigger yet. Well...ready, aim, FIRE!
It is free to visit as many clubs as you want until you find the right one for you. They all have their own “personalities” so be sure to shop around. Once you are ready to join, yearly dues are less than $100. These are the clubs I belong to:
Eastside Toastmasters (New York)
Advanced Debaters (New York)
To find one near you, check out www.toastmasters.org/Find-a-Club
Most events are free or very inexpensive. Whether you are looking to connect for professional, recreational, or social purposes. There is a great MeetUp out there for you.
I belong to one that is for people in the neighborhood, who work from home. It lets me take my professional hat off for a while and just be plain old unpolished me.
I also have another MeetUp that I created to share what I do and generate business. Unsuck Your Career, is a weekly support group for people going through or pondering a job change.
A small batch of simple business cards can go a long way towards sharing yourself with the world. You can hand them out and leave them at local businesses. Vistaprint will help you design and print cards very inexpensively. I recommend printing 250 cards to take the design for a test run. You’ll get plenty of feedback and you can make an upgrade when you run out. At that point you may have some capital to invest in something a little more chic. Or if you got it right the first time. Congrats! You have a powerful marketing tool that costs you next to nothing!
This is free monetarily, but it will be a time investment to do it right. It’s a great alternative for people that are not ready or can’t afford to invest in a website. Facebook Hack: www.likelyzer.com is a great way to track the effectiveness of your FB page. It rates your page on a scale from 1-100 and gives you specific things to change/do to make the page more popular.