As a business owner, you know how important networking is to grow your business. But, how many events do you have to go each week? 1? 5? How many is too many? What’s the right number?

First of all, think quality over quantity. You can go to 10 events in a week, but if you aren’t making connections that matter, none of them are worth your time. Vary them up and shop around, but stick with professional groups that will widen your circle of influence, build your referral network, and potentially bring in new opportunities.

Start with finding 3 or 4 of networking groups that meet your criteria. But don’t kill yourself going to every event. You’re busy. If a group meets weekly, try to hit a meeting once or twice per month, unless you’re in BNI. Theyhave their own criteria.

Personally, I’ve found the best networking happens at non-networking events. I’ve met new contacts at conferences, trainings, fundraisers, at Staples copy shop, and just recently at an Art Show. Realistically, any event you go to is a chance to meet new people who could turn into clients, serve as a mentor one day, or be an amazing addition to your team. Don’t limit yourself to events that have “networking” in the title.

One point I’d like to make is that networking isn’t just about making new contacts. It gives you a chance to refine your message and change it up according to what’s new and important. Plus, it forces you to get out of your office and your routine, and socialize with other people. To get you out of the silo.

I’m Robin Samora with the Fast Marketing Minute. If you want to know more about networking, download a copy of my report How to Work a Room Without Being There. It’s at Talk tomorrow!