When it comes to business or anything in life, great networks can lead you to many opportunities. Whether you’re looking for a new job, a new business partner or potentially a new client, it’s so important that you learn the ropes of meeting new people. No matter who you meet out there, it’s best that you make a lasting impression. To help you network with potential people in your area, here are six steps you can take to network successfully.

1. Join a Club

With billions of people on the Internet, how can you not meet people on this massive resource? Why I’m not asking you to network over the web, this is a great place to find local clubs and gatherings in your local area. Pick an activity that relates to your work and see what you can take advantage of. Whether it’s bowling, golf or eating out, there are always people that want to meet you. A great place to start finding clubs is

2. Be Knowledgeable

When you open up a business, it’s important to know your industry inside and out. For example, if you’re going to plan on opening a bar, what kinds of organizations are out there? For instance, do you know of any professional bartending circuits? If so, join them! This is a great way to mingle with other people in the same industry and get ideas, share tips and maybe even share resources. Never be afraid to talk with those in the same industry.

3. Volunteer

This networking tip works great in the business and career field. Since most companies are more than happy to bring you on board, try to volunteer in your local area. Whether it’s for an animal shelter or a food pantry, you never know who you’re going to meet behind closed doors. For instance, if you’re a business owner, you never know if this organization needs a new website, logo done or so forth. If they like your work, the word can spread like wildfire! Not only that, don’t forget that you’re also helping those in need.

4. Work Charity Events

You would be surprised at how good this technique works. What you’re going to want to do is call up a few local charity event organizers and ask if you can help work the event. The best place to work is generally the registration desk. Here, you can mingle with people, ask questions and talk with them for a few. Remember, these charity events will often charge hundreds of dollars, so a lot of people with money will show up, and also remember, those with money generally have something going for them. These are the people you want to network with!

5. Go to the Past

No matter how old you are, try to network with those in the past. Facebook is a fantastic way to find old high school friends. Start a conversation and see where they are at in their life. While you’re going to come across people who don’t have much going for them, you never know if you come across someone that can help you grow. When hunting for these old classmates, don’t act like you’re using them, but rather, get to know them a bit before you ask for connections.

6. LinkedIn

The last great way to network is through LinkedIn. Using this powerful professional social networking website, you will find that there are hundreds upon hundreds of people that share the same interests as you. Use their powerful search engine and find people in your local area. Connect with them, send a message and get to know them. While many may ignore you, there are going to be some that may bite.