‘Business Networking That Doesn’t Suck,’ by Biznik.com

yes, this is the January general meeting...

January Fremont Chamber General Meeting w/ Lara Feltin of biznik.com

Sitting in the sun, learning about modern networking while enjoying a delicious meal – who would’ve thought this would be the scene of the Fremont Chamber general meeting for January?

At Kaosamai Thai (404 North 36th) attendees relished in the extremely unexpected pleasure of sitting on the deck and listening to Lara Feltin of Biznik.com explain the expanding networking options.

Feltin, who founded the company with her husband Dan McComb four years ago in Fremont, works at the Fremont SPACE building at 36th & Evanston Avenue North (behind Lenin).  Their network of members – which count 15,000 in Seattle and 48,000 world-wide – can be accessed on-line but the company remains “all about face-to-face events.”

“All our events are hosted by members,” Feltin explained.  They offer a wide variety of events each month, some right here at Fremont Studios.  The service is free to join and, according to Feltin, they have “always attracted the creative types who see their business as an extension of their self-expression,” which is not just artists, but anyone who works at a vocation rather than a job and a business that follows their values.

“Collaboration beats competition,” Feltin stated about relationship marketing.  She spoke to the group about marketing and networking, and use of internet tools and social groups to do it – from LinkedIn to BNI, from Facebook to LeTip.

She defines business marketing in four ways –

  • referral marketing (like BNI or LeTip)
    Cultivation of contacts among clients, customers, and associates, through word-of-mouth, to reach customers.
  • job seeking (like LinkedIn)
    Building a broad network of ever-expanding contacts within specific fields, industries, or corporations.
  • ‘Rolodex stuffing’/business card handout –
    Collecting and distributing cards, handouts or coupons to build a base and awareness.
  • relationship marketing (like Biznik.com) –
    Building collaborative, friendly relationships built on shared interests and common factors.

Meeting attendees received the Biznik.com Manifesto (“…if you are going to start acting radical, you’d better have a manifesto,” it states) and their Do’s & Don’ts (“Do follow up with those you met at an event.” and “Don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t do in real life.” it suggests.)  Feltin also entertained questions – with wisely considered answers – before the meeting broke up for informal…you guessed it…networking!

Okay, so not all Fremont Chamber meetings promise to be this sunny, but they usually prove this informative.  Be sure to join us next time, on Wednesday, February 17 from 5-7p at The Ballroom (456 North 36th) for an open house/brainstorming session on the Fremont Street Fair!

©2010 Kirby Lindsay.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.                           Read more ‘Fremont’ at http://www.moisturefestival.com



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