You know how important your online brand is, but there’s just something about meeting others face-to-face, isn’t there? Through a simple handshake, a conversation, or chance encounter, you’re typically able to make a stronger connection than you would through technology.

Showing up puts you ahead

Attend industry conferences and trade shows. Conferences provide several benefits to building your brand. First off, they introduce you to other professionals in your industry (and those whom you already “know” through online means) and help grow your network exponentially in a short period of time. These events also enhance and add to your skill set by featuring expert speakers, vendors and exhibitioners in your field.

Apply to be a speaker at local and industry events. You have an expertise that sets you apart from other individuals. Why not share that knowledge to help other groups and individuals by applying to be a speaker?

Attend (or organize) meetups/tweetups. Take some of those relationships you’ve built online offline. If there isn’t already a meetup or tweetup in place for your area, take the initiative and organize the event yourself. And you’ll already know the attendees prior to the event—always a plus!

Write for a local newspaper or magazine. Although many print publications have transitioned (at least somewhat) to the Web, there are still plenty out there looking for guest writers or experts on specific topics. Check out resources like Help a Reporter Out (HARO), Reporter Connection, and NewsBasis for opportunities. Also, take a few minutes to visit your local Chamber of Commerce and local publications offices.

Distribute your business cards. When you meet someone, be sure to exchange business cards with that individual in order to continue the conversation at a later date. You have them for a reason—don’t be shy about handing them out!

Attend college alumni events. Your alumni network is an often overlooked—and highly valuable—source of networking contacts. Who doesn’t want to meet a fellow alum? Plus, you already have at least a few things in common to start a conversation!

Be approachable, well mannered and helpful in everyday activities. Want to build a memorable personal brand for yourself? Keep in mind the way you’d like others to see you on a daily basis. I believe putting out good karma can only lead to good things in life.