Introducing a new and powerful marketing and network co-op for professional services providers.
For decades, business networking consisted of drinks at a private club, lunch out with friends, or time on the golf course with potential clients. Then local business groups began to pop up, like Toastmaster and chambers of commerce. Members got to know others, and hopefully they would refer each other business. But things are different today. The business world has changed. Marketing has changed. And how we connect with others has changed dramatically. We now have cell phones, the Internet, LinkedIn, SEO, email, YouTube, and Zoom. So doesn’t it make sense that networking groups should change? Echelon Business Development Network believes the answer is “YES!”
Business Development At Its Core
Let’s face it, we can say networking is for resources and comradery, but for most of us it boils down to it being an important way to market ourselves. It’s a way to get our names and firms’ names out there. But “out there” is a much bigger place than it used to be.
Most networking organizations revolve around meetings, and that’s it. With Echelon, meetings are just one component of networking. Echelon has built a robust portfolio of marketing tools to help members make powerful connections with other professionals and potential clients.
Echelon does this by integrating a powerful member website, were most of the information is “in front” of firewalls, which means search engines can find it. That also means internet search engines will help others find you! And if that’s not enough, Echelon’s member bios live on a second website, TopTrustedAdvisors.com, for even more search-engine optimization (SEO) power.
Echelon shoots video introductions of every member, which makes it easier to get to know each other. It’s also great for sending links to potential clients who are looking for introductions to other top professionals. And of course, video creates even more powerful SEO.
Other Echelon business development and marketing tools for members include the Echelon Podcast, Echelon Professional Magazine, broadcast emails, and special events.
Quality Over Quantity
Another trend in networking has been creating larger groups. Many organizations now look to have 30, 40, even 50 members per group. The downside to that is that not everyone gets to be heard (or seen) at every meeting. It’s also more difficult to cut through clutter and create deep, meaningful relationships with tons of members.
That’s why Echelon groups are smaller. Echelon uses 20 as a target size for each group, making meetings less about trying to get a word in, and more about meaningful conversations involving everyone.
Echelon is very particular about its members. Every member has been personally referred into the organization. To become an active member, each person is then carefully vetted by a 5-person membership committee, which reviews applicants’ experience. Only professionals with significant experience, in senior positions, and who serve as trusted advisors in professional, financial, and business services are admitted into the organization.