I believe strongly in the two hour rule, which is ideal for my location. I have many big cities within two hours driving and my goal is to build a strong network in all of those places.
Ask yourself, other than LinkedIn and Twitter – how big is your sphere of influence?
I am near Akron Ohio, which is within one hour of Cleveland, Youngstown, Canton, Alliance, Hudson and many other smaller cities.
If I extend that radius to two hours, I have an incredible number of cities: Add Pittsburgh, Toledo, Columbus, Erie and maybe Detroit, although it is more than two hours.
The funny thing is that I enjoy and succeed at International Networking. I know a lot of people and distance is nothing. I also and very strong in Akron/Cleveland as person to person networking. But obviously I am leaving a lot of opportunities on the table.
So this week, I am going to Pittsburgh to see an author I enjoy and I know his event is going to be all about meeting people and building bridges to succeed. I am going to be gone really late, but this is my first focused effort on Pittsburgh, where I do have clients but do not have a network of people I know well.
I am writing about this here because I am not just going to an event, I am launching an effort to increase my influence, parters and resellers in the city and it should be kind of interesting.
Some questions you might ask yourself.
Do you have cities within 2 hours of you that are left untapped?
If you were to get the same results you get from networking in your city in another city as well, how would that change your business?
Do you have a lot of connections in FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn from a nearby city that you have never met in person?
I will update the blog on how my experiment goes, but ultimately it is not a question of how one meeting goes or does not go. It is about making an effort to build a team of people that care in a place a little farther than usual from your home.