+ Being Part of a Community

I see you sitting at your computer doing all the “business building things”. You’ve locked down a logo and know how to navigate the corners of Canva. You chat with AI daily and post so much on social media that one might think you’re running for “Influencer Of The Year”. You have a website and maybe, just maybe, send a nifty newsletter every so often. Yet, here you are, wondering why your business isn’t growing.

I’ve got a question. Who are you talking to about your business? How many people know who your ideal client is? Who knows what problems you need to solve?

Ummm… did your social media followers come to mind? Did the image of your latest newsletter pop into your head? Okay, those are super handy to have and the marketing gods appreciate them BUT those are tools in your marketing toolbox. Your online presence can only do so much. One of today’s most cost-effective marketing tools is networking!

I’m serious. You remember networking, right? Where you talk to people, sometimes strangers, to create relationships that will grow your business. See, once you are truly committed to growing a business, talking to people IRL and creating a community are necessary.


Today’s networking isn’t simply talking to strangers, nor is it rambling on about yourself. Whether your widgets are wonderful or you have the coolest cogs, nobody is interested.

Today’s networking is about getting to know your fellow business owners and nice neighbors and making business besties through honest conversations. It’s THE platform for building a deep network of referral partners, collaborators, and people who will talk about you in spaces you aren’t in.

I don’t know which part of networking I appreciate most but people saying my name in places I’m not in makes my heart happy. It’s word-of-mouth marketing PLUS endorsement power that makes it extra special. That’s like getting a second dessert. It’s a big yummy bonus of having a community.

I don’t want to hear that networking isn’t your thing. This is business math! The more people you know = the more leads you get = the more sales you make. It’s that simple.

I saw that eye roll! Lemme guess. You are thinking “I don’t know that many people” or “No one sends me business”. Okay, that might be true on the surface but stay with me.

You already know a ton of people. In general, people fall into three categories:


You swap life stories, maybe your tiny humans hang, you have dinner together on a Friday night, or watched Taylor at the Chiefs’ game together. Not all are fellow business owners. Most work in some capacity, on a typical payroll role or not. Some aren’t quite sure what you do. However, they are all your advocates and want the best for you and your business.

Business Besties:

These are fellow business owners in your inner circle. People who are business partners, vendors, acquaintances, and general resources. The ones who know about you, your business, your widgets, and your cogs. These people can become potential customers (hello future sales), brand advocates (hello free advertising), and connection makers (hello lead generation).


This is your biggest bucket. Past school chums, ex-work spouses, and past co-workers. That friendly face you chat with while grabbing your morning coffee, dropping your furbaby off at daycare, or before hitting your downward-facing dog. You know their names (or not) and you chat casually about interests and the weather.

Still not buying it? Let’s total up your LinkedIn connections, email contacts, and that bucket full of business cards.


You know people. Now, let’s transform them into a community of business supporters. I like to call this pulling the lever on leveraging your connections.
Don’t run out and tell all of these connections all about our business. Instead, let’s deepen your existing connections and make it easier for them to send people your way! Magic. Here’s how:


Share your ideal clients. Give them insight into who you work with. Examples: “Hey, if you hear of anyone looking to hand off their marketing tasks without hiring an employee please send them my way. Usually, they say things like “I hate all of this” or “I wish I had someone who could simply do this for me without adding to my payroll”. You also might recognize them because you found out about a sale or event they ran after it ended and they acknowledged they struggled with effectively communicating it. Thanks.”

Don’t forget to ask your friends where and how they meet new people. Also, connect with them to support each other online (ie: LinkedIn).

Business Bestie:

Send them your referral one-sheeter. This one-pager highlights your most valuable clients, what you offer, and a bit about you and your business. Oh, and your contact info.

Don’t forget to keep in touch. See or talk to them a few times a month. My trick is sending them events I will be at so they too can attend. Then we can make introductions and break up unproductive conversations by being “wingers” for each other.


Look through your contacts and pick a few that will be easy to talk to or that might be helpful connections. Set up a chat. Aim for 2-4 chats a week.

Don’t forget this is a chat, not a sales pitch. Chats should be genuine. Get to know them, their interests, challenges, and how you can help each other. It is okay to end with a request and ask how you can help. Example: “If you know anyone I should connect with I’m here for it. Is there anything I can do for you?”.

Guess what? That’s networking. You learn more about someone in your community, and they learn all about you. Then you both tell your communities about the wonderful people you met (hello story idea). When you do this in spaces that aren’t traditional networking (parties, coffee shops, PTA meetings, etc) even more magic happens.


Network. Get to know people. Don’t sell, share. Be supportive. Make introductions. Talk to people everywhere. Be helpful.

Community. Collect people who cheer for you and say your name in spaces you aren’t in. Think collaborations, partnerships, referrals, affiliates, and knowledge sharing.

Build. Put yourself out there. Meet new people. Use your current connections to add to your community. Be a mentor. Support your community. Give back.

Tips. Explore various groups. Determine what works for you and your goals. Bring a friend. Chat with a new connection weekly. Focus on relationships, not sales.
Harness the magic of networking + being part of a community. Watch your business grow.

Connect with Nichole and Stargazer Creative:



Nichole Chapais is the Founder of Stargazer Creative, which she opened in 2018. Harnessing over 20 years of expertise, she is a fractional CMO who helps local and online businesses get better results from their marketing without the stress of having to do it all themselves. Offering monthly retainers, VIP Days, and Intensives, Nichole simplifies the complexities of marketing, social media, online visibility, and audience growth. She believes that marketing your business shouldn’t feel like a second full-time job.

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