I have met people from my online networking and in some cases we have never met, however, I do like to meet people in person and will make the effort to travel to do so. I believe there is a certain energy you pick up about people that you don’t always get when you just speak on the phone. There is a great website called www.meethalfway.com and it tells you the most central point between two locations and you can choose to meet at a hotel or cafe. Social networking is fabulous because you get to meet people who, because of location, you may never have had the opportunity to meet. Your circle widens quite considerably.
“Networking online is just as important as face-to-face networking”
People in my online network have also referred me on to people they considered as a great contact for me and, because I fully trusted some of those people’s judgement, I actually started the ball rolling on a project before meeting with that person. Although, I did get to know them first and ensured that they were a great fit for my business and vice versa. And, over time I did get to meet them which further cemented the relationship.
I would also recommend sourcing people who also work with your niche market, as they will already have contacts who you could be connected to and vice versa. I would also source people online and look to see if they are connected to any of your existing contacts already, so that you could ask for an opinion on that person as well as an introduction.