We’ve talked in the past about Marketers Anonymous, our meetup that started in Norfolk, VA that is an excellent networking opportunity for local marketers. We expanded into Newport News and Orlando. Why Orlando? Well, at one point we had two clients there and we also have two employees, web designers, that work down there. So at one point, we thought it would be a really good idea to make new connections and meet other marketers in that area; Marketers Anonymous was a great way to do that!
Erik still thinks it’s a decent plan but the execution of said plan just fell flat. We pulled Marketers Anonymous out of Orlando altogether. It was extremely difficult to break into a new market when we didn’t know anyone and we were just basically dropping in once a month. Erik had a theory that you could build a network remotely, you didn’t actually have to be physically in the place. But he wasn’t able to expand his network beyond those initial contacts because he simply wasn’t around.
Think about your current network: it’s formed because you’re in a particular geographic area, you go to events, you see the same people over and over again. Building a network takes time…a long time.
With Orlando, he just didn’t have that opportunity and there was too much to do here to take the time to set up meetings and cultivate relationships prior to our monthly trips. We would essentially fly into the city, have the meetup, and fly back that night without, frankly, the resources to be able to just hang around in the city. We’ve put the whole Orlando initiative on hold, except of course our awesome employees who are down there that we’ll never drop. We need to work on dominating the marketing industry in Norfolk and once we’ve truly done that, then we can move to other areas and do the same there.