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The Powers of Networking! An interview with Patrick M Powers
by Startacus Admin
Its apparently International Networking Week, so we pulled out all the stops and interviewed Patrick M Powers - the King of entrepreneurial / meetup networking in London...
"I’ve known Patrick for the last couple of years. I say have ‘known’, but rather Patrick has been a contact I’ve made via various social networks, rather than someone I’ve met face-to-face.
So when I had the opportunity to chat with and interview Patrick M Powers, not via Skype, or a Google hangout, or a Facebook chit-chat, but face to face in the real offline world, I jumped at the chance. But why? More on that later…
But lets start with a little introduction on Patrick. Patrick M Powers (not to be confused with the famous bookmaker) is a bit of a hotshot on all things marketing, networking, and on and offline community building. He’s also an experienced business author, trainer and well...all round business innovator. I’m sure there’s plenty more I could tell you now, but then what would be the point of the interview?
And the main reason I wanted to meet with Patrick, was admittedly a selfish one - his Facebook page ‘Entrepreneurs in London’ has around 23,000 likes to date and his actual meetup group has over 10,000 signed-up members, making it the largest business and careers networking group in Europe - pretty fab, eh!? I wanted to know how one man managed to build a community of this size? (apologies for making this sound like a Hollywood Trailer!)
“Community Building is the next Frontier in Marketing” Patrick is quick to explain. “The reason being is that in terms of starting, marketing and sustaining a business, the most important thing is your list, your network - the contacts you’ve made”.
And it’s some list that Patrick has...
But how did he manage to build such a large list? Well it’s not rocket science - “Facebook pay per click” and on an ongoing basis, has helped Patrick find his list. But what of this list - both in terms of his Facebook page and also his meetup group?
His offline, physical, pass-the-business-card meetups, might send trepidation down the spine of some, but by successfully linking the online with the real world offline, he’s managed to build not only a massive list, but a very active group of early-stage and established entrepreneurs and business heads, and all under the Patrick Powers umbrella.
So it’s that linkage between the on and offline that is the key?
“Combining the off and the online is the frontier - is the key. The online is fantastic for the lead generation and the maintenance of your network, but the offline, the meetup, the face-to-face, well that’s great for the relationship building, the personal, and the trust.” Connecting with people, well that’s only made stronger when you manage to do both - and do both well of course.”
So, forgive me for asking, but why did you want to start this all in the first place?
“The early inspiration behind it was the need to build my own network, and the realisation that not many other marketers were doing just that.”
Admittedly Patrick does do ‘personal’ very well, and from our quick chat over coffee, you can understand why others, including the first time networker would feel warm and comfortable in his meetups company. Also his groups have never been overly self-promotional - “First focus has always been on building the community and the network - and then the focus on my capabilities as a Marketer and Business person, can come down the line.”
And his advice to the early stage self starter and self employed wannabe?
“Focus on the list and the list that you already have - that’s what is wrong with people’s heads. People are chasing the new customer, rather than serving the customer they've already got.”
Back to my introductory paragraph - why I jumped at the chance to meet, chat and network with Patrick Powers in person? Well much like Patrick’s holistic approach to building lists both on and offline - it’s only by meeting with Patrick, that you get to build on that initial connection.
And with that, we finished our drinks, introductions made, and off we went on our merry ways...The ‘Power’ of face to face networking, one might say!"
Written by Alastair Cameron
Intererested in more articles on networking / meetups ? Well clickbusiness networking to read on!
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