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Jul 12, 2012

Local events are a fantastic source of leads for prospects in fields where there is otherwise little online footprint. For example, in fields such as Accounting, Finance, Nursing, Law and Medical, among others, you may find individuals who occasionally blog or participate in online communities, but such individuals are not as plentiful as in other industry sectors.

Many continuing education companies employ local experts to teach recertification courses. These courses can be found online but frequently behind dynamically generated content which makes it “deep web” content not picked up buy regular search engines. However, the content of those sites can be easily found with just a little bit of digging around.

Take, for example, Tax Accountants. is offering over a dozen local training events over the next three months all across the country. If you are looking for someone in Sales & Use Tax in California, look no further than here. Each course lists a bio on the faculty presenting the course, and there are hundreds of people listed in these bios. Simply find the topic or city of interest, and look up the faculty. teaches other course as well, in areas such as: Employment & Labor, Workers Compensation, Payroll, Benefits, Constructions, Environmental Services, Water Law, Public Works, Land Development, HV AC, Medical Records, Nursing, Insurance, Banking, Collections, Sales, Manufacturing, and a few others.

If instead you seek Financial Attorneys specializing in Probate Law, check out this event and look at their faculty. Or maybe you are looking for Nurses? Or say you work for a Children’s Hospital and need Coders?

Sometimes you find not just the instructors but also participants, particularly when the training company publishes “testimonials” such as the dozens found on this HVAC training company’s page.

Yeah, it is just that easy. But wait, it gets better!

This may come as a shock to you but conversations occasionally take place around in-person networking activities as well, such as what you can find in, for example. Say you seek Private Wealth Managers, you may find some participating in meetups focusing around wealth creation like this one or “wealth building” groups like this one.

Though you can create your own Meetups, as a source it is best to just observe. For example, you can get alerts when a new MeetUp with specific keywords is started near you, and see who joins.  Or you could search using unique specialized skills keywords in your target industry and locate people with that desired “tag” within your desired geography.  When you are ready to reach out do so though some other network.  For example, in NYC a 20-member PHP MeetUp group shoots pool and drinks beer at a certain place every week.  Grab those names and plug them into Facebook, search for their friends, then plug that data into LinkedIn… Yup! You got it now 🙂

Can you think of other networking websites where discussions may be taken offline? How about LinkedIn Events for example?

Or what if you can locate your prospects based on the GPS on their phone? Does that sound too 007 to you? It isn’t. Enter Location Based Services like Foursquare, Yelp, and Google Lattitude for example. Most of them also integrate with Facebook Places or Twitter, and frequently with both. When a “status update” or “check-in” is generated by a user these services report the geographic coordinates of your prospect. The most popular applications are Facebook Places, Twitter, Foursquare and Yelp.

But, why does this even exist?

Uncle Sam requires cell carriers be able to pinpoint the whereabouts of any customer who calls 911. To comply, these upgrades cost wireless companies a ton of money so now they are anxious to get a return on their investment by selling services that exploit these new capabilities for profit.

People use these modern-day “smoke signals” for a variety of reasons including letting their tribe know things like, “Hey, I’m over here working out of this Starbucks today in case you want to join me” or “I’m hanging out at this bar/pub/restaurant/mall/theater/street if you are nearby lets hang out.” Others use it to learn about locations they would like to visit, to decide where to go, or to get special coupons, deals, discounts and freebies available only to those who “check in.”

Just in case you are asking yourself “so what” think about your prospects and what places they visit before, during and after work. The most popular check-in locations in order are restaurants, coffee shops, bars/clubs, homes (yup, they check in at HOME), stores and sports venues. So, if people from a particular company branch congregate at a local establishment for work lunches or happy hours.

How? Glad you asked. CheckinMania makes it easy. Enter the address of your target company or branch location, and see who checks in nearby and why. Find the local coffee shop or watering hole your target audience frequents, and click on that location. From there you can see who checked in via Foursquare or Twitter. Say you find Evan T checks in frequently at the coffee adjacent to your target company. Click on his Foursquare profile from CheckinMania and notice the Facebook and Twitter icons on his profile. A click on the Facebook icon takes you to his page where you can see his last name, find out what school he attended, learn about his interests, see where he works and even scan through his Facebook friends (or are they co-workers?) Or from his Twitter bio you’ll get a link to his blog or LinkedIn profile. From there you can read recent tweets about his job, check out what Twitter lists he follows (or that follow him) which reveal others like him. What exchanges has he had? Does he Tweet his co-workers, peers, supervisors, subordinates, customers?

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