By Jeff Beals
Three quarters of the biggest clients are acquired only through relationship building.
The vast majority of job openings are never advertised.
These two statements prove one thing: in order to be successful, you must be involved. As professionals, we have to be active, energetic and engaged in our communities. We have to get out of the cubicle, jump off the couch and embrace the world around us.
Involvement helps you find new clients. It taps you into the job-market grapevine. It allows you to be “top-of-mind” in your profession.
Simply put, involvement helps you reach your goals. As long as you don’t burn the candle and both ends, being involved can actually make you more effective in your work.
But what’s the best way to get involved? There are many options, and what you choose to do is entirely up to you. To make your choice a little easier, here is my list of the Top 10 Ways to Get Involved:
- Chambers of Commerce – offer an array of programs designed for professionals. Chambers provide an opportunity to learn from and network with professionals from a wide variety of businesses from all parts of your city. They are great for client acquisition, B2B sales and for bolstering your career opportunities.
- Professional & Trade Associations – bring people of one profession together for educational and networking purposes. These groups are particularly useful for career advancement assuming you want to stay in your current field.
- Philanthropy & Non-Profit Boards – allow you to make the world a better place while fostering friendships with fellow board members and philanthropists who can help you reach your business and career goals.
- Politics – include interest groups, political parties and election campaigns. Political involvement is “hands-on” and allows you to grow close with fellow members as you work toward a common cause.
- Service Clubs & Fraternal Organizations – are groups such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Freemasons, Knights of Columbus, etc. These organizations can be demanding of your time but allow you to build meaningful relationships with fellow members. People who join these groups tend to be social, caring “go-getters” who have done well in their careers.
- Religion – provides spiritual and emotional benefits while exposing you to people who hold similar beliefs. What’s more, places of worship tend to be among the most active, lively organizations you can find and are especially good at connecting people.
- Tips & Networking Clubs – are carefully chosen groups of professionals who get together on a regular basis to share ideas, give each other referrals and talk about rumors in the marketplace. In order to receive value from these organizations, you must first be willing to give value.
- Youth Organizations – Kid’s activities need parents and grandparents to provide leadership. In so doing, you are connected with other adults. The downtime provides great networking and relationship-building opportunities.
- The Arts – allow you pursue an enjoyable passion while making contacts and establishing name recognition. Most arts organizations are in need of many volunteers and will welcome you with open arms.
- Sports & Recreation – keep you healthy and fit while building friendships. There’s just something about physical activity and team competition that naturally fosters healthy relationships.
- “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
- “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
- “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”