Imagine this – every fortnight you had an event organised for you, with an interesting agenda, great speakers, and marketing that brings in a wealth of interesting new connections. Amazing, eh? Just think how you could leverage that to meet new people and become ‘someone who knows someone’. And grow your own business to boot.
That’s what Fresh offers you – A partnership based platform that acts like a magnet to bring people together.
“So, what’s the catch?”, you ask. “What do I have to do to take advantage of this great event?”
Well, Fresh is not about rules and rigidity, so we only ask two things of our members in return:
The two golden rules
1. Turn up
2. Bring guests
Turning up is obvious – you can’t network if you’re not in the room. But why do we put such a focus on bringing guests?
The answer is that networking is all about growing our connections. No-one is going to meet new people if no-one invites them to meetings.
Fresh invests heavily in marketing and social media to promote the network and encourage people to come and visit and we generate over 4,000 visits per year. But we can’t do it alone. It’s a partnership with our members – and no-one is better placed to find great visitors than those who are already members.
So as active members of a networking group, we ask our members to take responsibility for inviting guests. After all, no-one can explain the buzz of a Fresh meeting better than a member who attends every fortnight.
Fresh generates over 4000 visitors a year for you. All we ask you to do is partner up and invite a few extra people to the party.
Guests vs Potential Members
Members sometimes say “Well, I have someone in mind, but they’re not someone who’d be a Fresh member.”
Forget membership! Of course, some guests do go on to become members, but recruitment is NOT our primary reason for bringing guests. Our primary reasons are:
• To help other members make new connections – as potential clients, referral partners or synergy partners
• To raise the level of energy in the room – it’s not very exciting talking to the same people week in, week out. Without guests the opportunities are limited!
• To generate business – 30% of our closed business is with guests
So we encourage our members to invite guests who they think would be great connections for their fellow members. We don’t want them to worry about whether that visitor would make a suitable member.
We don’t expect members to do it all alone though – and we know it can be a bit daunting at first, so we offer plenty of help, guidance and mentoring, through our Fresh Buddy program for new members.
Here’s my personal top five tips for being a star guest inviter
1. Have a strategy – whether that is attending other networking events (a great source of guests), using social media, inviting your clients. Plan who you will invite, and then work your plan.
2. Track your performance – we provide the Fresh portal, which has a dashboard, so that you can see how you are doing, against our Crown/Tiara/Jester’s Hat scale. Data is knowledge, so use the stats to make yourself accountable.
3. Be generous. Fresh is about generosity – it’s about giving rather than receiving. One of the ways you can give is by bringing guests, so we encourage members to think specifically about others in their hub, and to invite people who would be great connections for their fellow Freshies.
4. Think of networking as a key business growth strategy (or as some say, ‘The more you meet, the more you eat.’) The more new people you engage with, the faster you can grow your own business.
5. Set yourself a goal – and don’t be afraid to share it, so that your hub mates can see that you are actively participating.
The benefits of bringing guests
We all know that referrals make for great business – they are far easier to convert than any other form of marketing connection. Most of my own clients in my travel business have been through networking – everyone travels, and my networking buddies have realised that and invited their connections along to meet me.
Networking is a marketing strategy – and just as you invest your time in marketing, so we encourage our members to spend a little time every fortnight planning who they will invite to the next meeting.
The feedback we get from guests is always positive. Unlike ‘you-know-who’, we don’t capture guests in a room and put a signup form under their nose. There is no sales pitch – just a warm and welcoming experience.
We invite our members to share their pride in Fresh, to help others grow their business, and invite, invite, invite. Who knows – the next guest could turn into their biggest customer!
So remember – the real benefit of Fresh Networking is that it’s a magnetic platform that brings people together.