Types of Networking Groups

Anna Saucier Marketing

Oh, the groups you can join!

If you read my recent post, you now know the basic steps of inviting an individual to meet up to network with you. If your list of potential connections needs to grow, a local networking group can be a place to meet other people who are actively in search of opportunities to meet and grow business relationships with others. You read that right. People who WANT to network and have carved time out of their schedule to prioritize networking.

The good news is you don’t need to belong to all the groups. By knowing which groups are worth your time during this stage of your fertility awareness-based method (FABM) business, you will be able to use your time wisely and seek out only the group(s) that will help you to be a profitable FABM professional right now.   

Peer groups

As the name suggests, a peer group consists of like-minded colleagues. This may be a virtual or an in-person meet-up. Examples of this model would be FertilityCare Professionals of Greater Indianapolis. This group meets quarterly and came out of an initial need for all of us to get to know one another. A local peer group has a focus of collaborative projects (bringing speakers to the area, support groups), helping one another during maternity leaves, sabbaticals, and busy seasons, and in-person support rallying around their local community. This is absolutely a valuable type of networking group to be involved with. However, it may not yield a high number of referrals except in the case of there being a member who cannot take clients for a time.

Who is this group best for?

  • Those without traditional “coworkers” in the office who want to meet others doing the same work
  • Those seeking mentoring
  • Those wanting to be an influencer by mentoring others
  • Anyone wanting to grow in their knowledge

Traditional networking group (also known as strong contact networks)

In a traditional networking group, there is one person from each profession. A realtor. A banker. An accountant. A digital marketing strategist. A restaurant owner. A fertility professional. A hairstylist. A lawyer. This allows referrals between members to be abundant as there is no competition between members. Each member has their own profession. I was in a group like this which focused on female professionals living and/or working in a particular town or city. We met monthly for networking, socials, and civic engagement with the broader community.

Who is this group best for?

  • Those who are new to a town or city
  • Those who are looking to grow their client base
  • Those who are looking to make powerful connections
  • Those who like to collaborate with others
  • Someone who wants to meet regularly

Traditional networking group with a focus

This is a traditional networking group with a focus behind the types of professions represented. So, in my case, I am part of a local group of holistic practitioners. So the types of professions in our group are limited to people who provide health-oriented services locally. In addition to myself, my group includes a chiropractor, a functional health nurse practitioner, a physical therapist, a lactation consultant, an acupuncturist, a health coach, and others.

This type of group is helpful to keep small and focused. Topics can include education for members and presentations from outside organizations and individuals. Cases can be shared and referrals are frequent between members.  

Who is this group best for?

  • A FABM professional wanting to create his or her own group
  • Someone whose clients are in need of additional services that professional cannot provide
  • Any of the reasons above to join a traditional networking group

Casual contact networks

In this type of networking group, there can be multiple members of the same profession. There may be several lawyers, several bankers, several people in direct sales. The great news is this: FABM professionals will still generally be the only person of their profession at these meetings, making them possibly as valuable as the strong contact networks. However, they typically meet less frequently, which could be a good or bad thing depending on what your business needs right now.

Examples of this type of network would include: a chamber of commerce of a town or city and business exchange for individuals of a particular religion.

Who is this group best for?

  • Someone who wants to meet less frequently
  • Any of the reasons above to join a casual contact network

Practical considerations matter!

Once you have compiled a list of some groups that fit into these different categories, these questions may help you narrow down where to start.

  1. Can I make the time/meeting dates work on a regular basis?
  2. (If a local group), Where does this group meet? Is it close to my other obligations?
  3. What are the eligibility requirements of membership? Do I meet them?
  4. Are there dues? What does being part of this group cost?

Take the time to research groups, visit once to try one out, and if it’s the right fit, be consistent and active in your attendance and your participation. Use your intuition and positive mindset as you navigate the exciting world of networking opportunities in your area, yielding many opportunities in your FABM business.

This guest article was written by Liz Escoffery, CFCP. She is a Certified Fertility Care Practitioner, Childbirth Educator, and Organic Conceptions Field Advocate. You can find more about her on her website at www.indyfertilitycare.com