You spend a lot of time actively chasing new business. But how much time do you spend getting to know the people in your community and actively helping them out?
Whether you’re coaching a little league team or organizing a donation drive, community involvement is a great way to make a positive contribution and meet new people. It also has the power to boost your business as people get to know you, trust you, and spread the word about what you do.
Today, we’re sharing seven simple ways to show your community a little love (and maybe get a little love back in return):
1. Make it a rule to support everyone in your circle.Is your co-worker’s kid selling Girl Scout cookies? Buy them. Is a colleague participating in a charity run? Sponsor them. Is your child’s teacher retiring? Pitch in for the class present. Do these things immediately and without a hint of hesitation. Generosity is a great habit to cultivate, so look around: who needs help and what needs doing? Supporting those around you is a great way to spread goodwill and make a positive impact on your greater community.
2. Host a community event.Can you clear a little office space or commandeer a local venue on behalf of a community group? When you carve out the space for community groups to meet (or create those opportunities yourself), you bring people together and spark new connections, which is a win-win for everyone. What can you do with the space you have? If you get creative, the answer is plenty: host a monthly book club, organize a workshop, plan a networking event, or simply step aside and offer your space to those who may need it. The goal here is to have fun and foster connections with the people who live, work, and play just moments from you.
3. Teach others what you know.You have a lot of wisdom that could benefit others, so why not share it? You could volunteer to mentor a younger broker, give workshops in an area of expertise, or simply share your passion for a favorite hobby. Teaching others the things you’ve mastered is rewarding, fun, and a great way to expand your network without officially “networking."
4. Get out there!You can get a lot done with a phone and a computer, but there’s still nothing like an in-person conversation. Find ways to physically be there for the people in your community, whether you host an event, coach a little league team, or volunteer to help with a fundraiser. When it comes to showing your support, it’s a lot easier to write a check and check out, but being there in person—with a warm handshake and a smile— is still one of the best ways to make new connections.
5. Join forces with other businesspeople.When you become part of a larger network, you amplify your power and your impact. That’s why it’s smart to join industry associations like CREW or SIOR—but don’t stop there. Search for organizations that appeal to a larger pool of people outside of your network. Your local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, or Kiwanis Clubs can expose you to people from a greater variety of fields and enrich your network in unexpected ways.
6. Promote other businesses in your community.Why not be the connector who brings good people together? As a broker, it’s your job to know and nurture relationships with the businesses in your area. Why not take it a step further and become their unofficial spokesperson? Just like you, these small businesses depend on word of mouth and positive referrals, so send a little love their way by talking them up to potential customers. Sometimes the way to get more of what you need is to give it to others first.
7. Take a local nonprofit under your wing.Is there a group out there doing work that you love? Don’t just donate to them every once in awhile—show up to their events and volunteer for their causes. Whether you opt to mentor young professionals, volunteer at the local shelter, or organize a donation drive for a local food bank, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and do good work that also makes you feel great! Today, pick an issue, find a community organization that's tackling it, and send an email: “How can I help?” That’s it! Need inspiration? Start by checking out VolunteerMatch and All for Good.
What have you been doing to help your local community, connect with the people in your area, and boost your exposure? Let us know in the comments!