Networking is a 2-way street: you get proactive and maximize the benefits. By definition, it is an art of developing and maintaining professional relationships to help you grow your business.
The statement, “I know someone who can help with that,” is a powerful one. Ideally you're the person people are referring to in such a statement.
On the other hand, you will also see the positive impact on your business if you have someone to go to for various problems you may encounter.
For successful networking, you need to be dedicated, qualified, and consistent. It isn't a surprise to hear people say that they don't know where to start when it comes to networking.
It's simple, look through your contacts, social media accounts, social circle, and workplace. Always remember that your network is more than likely larger than you think, and it may even consist of people you have never met.
Here are 8 reasons why there's no better time than now to start networking:
1. Further Your Career
Plenty of people miss networking opportunities because they are intimidated or unsure of what to say, especially if a senior party is involved. However, there aren't many downsides of aiming high in your career, besides having your ego bruised occasionally.
Remember that the worst thing that can happen is getting a “no” or being ignored. Keep this in mind when you're at networking events to help ease the nerves when approaching a potential candidate.
If you get turned down understand it's not the end of the world. There are numerous other candidates and opportunities for you to connect.
2. Meet Like-Minded Entrepreneurs
Talking to people who are passionate about what they do allows you to gain insight and advice from other thought leaders and investors across a number of different fields.
Networking events give you an opportunity to obtain more valuable knowledge than you would get anywhere else in a single sitting.
It's not just a matter of getting advice, however, because you can be misled if you are talking to the wrong people.
Ensure the people you are talking to have experience and are credible in what they're talking about.
3. Get New Ideas
Talking to business-minded people is a fantastic way to learn new techniques to do business. Every industry is different, and the people you connect with can give you new ideas in their respective fields.
Innovations lead to better ways of doing things, and an increase in production will be the ultimate outcome.
An innovative business is one that stands out. You can get a lot of ideas in business events and even find people who will assist you in implementing them.
4. Digital Expansion
LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are the leading social networking sites where you can contact those you wouldn’t easily get a chance to talk to one-on-one.
LinkedIn has a number of groups where you can showcase your skills, allowing you to make new professional ties.
Keep in mind that making a good first impression online, is just as important as it is in person.
5. Face-to-Face Meetings
No matter the background noise or other issues going on, you can stand out when you are talking to a client or employer in person. Healthy professional relationships are a catalyst for success, and people are more inclined to give their business to those they trust.
Personal meetings are the easiest way to build trust and establish a connection. It is the most proficient, enduring and productive tactic in building relationships, no matter the basis.
Give yourself goals. Set a target of the number of people you meet face-to-face in a week or a month for networking purposes. Leverage your existing network, meet new people, and begin cultivating enduring relationships.
6. Increase Brand Awareness
A business needs to constantly stay in touch with and in front of its target audience in order to stay top of mind. Making connections with other businesses is one way of increasing your brand awareness.
Putting yourself out there, as an individual or a company, will improve your chances of getting in front of more potential customers.
By attending business events with great opportunities to network, you can build valuable relationships that will have a positive effect on your brand awareness.
It opens the way for people to refer members of their network to you that you otherwise wouldn't have reached.
7. Stay Involved in the Community
Through networking events, you can ensure that you are staying involved in the community. Be sure to attend local events or even consider hosting your own to bring the community together.
Many buyers love to stay loyal to their local businesses and by showing that you're an active member of the community, you can establish a trust and connection with the locals.
8. Open up New Opportunities
Talking to other businesses and thought leaders can open up a number of new opportunities for your firm; be it a joint venture, a chance for you to speak at an event, or a partnership.
However, don't lose sight of what's best for your business and your goals. Don’t jump at every opportunity until you have analyzed whether or not it will be beneficial to do so.
Timing is everything in networking, and by having clear business goals you will be sure to take the opportunities that you will benefit from and pass on those you won't.
I hope you found this information beneficial and feel free to connect with us on social media with any thoughts or questions you may have.