Last week, I tried an experiment through the rapidly-growing Construction Marketing Ideas LinkedIn group — I proposed to emulate the concept of local networking events, a key element behind the success of the Design and Construction Network.
The CMI LinkedIn group is now approaching 4,000 members, with a rather explosive growth rate after a period of more modest expansion. Some days, I’m discovering upwards of 30 or 40 individuals wishing to join. (Membership is free, but only with approval, at LinkedIn.)
LinkedIn systems allow one moderator announcement a week, so I sent out the proposal for the localized group concept last Thursday. So far, approximately one per cent of the group’s membership — something like 40 or so people — have responded with a “yes” to the idea of local groups.
This response level is quite reasonable for a group of this size, but of course, the next question is, where is everyone and is there enough “mass” for local groups.
The answer . . . maybe. I see some ‘nodes’ in the San Francisco bay area, around Boston and of course in my home town of Ottawa, Canada, where at least three people have expressed interest. Presumably with care we can ‘data mine’ for other members in the area and send further communications to them to see if they are interested in a local event. (For example, I count approximately Construction Marketing Ideas group members 20 members within the immediate Boston, MA area.)
It takes some work and effort to pull together and manage these local groups. I’ll see if readers who responded to the proposal are interested in taking the lead in co-ordinating things in their area, and if they are, will work out some way we can communicate with others in their communities.
Why do this sort of thing? In the end, relationships are built through a diversity of connections but the highest and best route to successful relationship and marketing development is to take the lead in sharing, giving, helping and supporting others. These can be within your “target market” but often, ironically, good deeds in the wider community help out as well. The challenge here is the requirement to be truly selfless — if you expect “return on investment” from this sort of initiative, you are likely to be disappointed. Yet if you put aside your own sales and marketing agenda, you may find surprising return for your efforts here.
In the meantime, here is the form to indicate your interest in joining a local Construction Marketing Ideas group in your area.