What is Networking?
Networking is the act of keeping a personal and professional contact list that you can utilise to advance your career in the workplace. All of the people you interact with form your network, and each of them has the ability to provide you with significant professional support or counsel.
A good network can bring career leads, growth prospects, and personal development opportunities.
“NETWORKING IS YOUR SALES AND MARKETING TIME!” (Jean Evans, The Networking Architect)
Some statistics about Networking:
- 85% of positions are filled through networking
- 70% of people found a job through connections in a company
- 61% of professionals worldwide agree that regular online interaction with their professional network can lead to possible job opportunities.
6 BENEFITS OF NETWORKING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES:
- BRAND AWARENESS BUILDING
The first key advantage of networking is that it increases your brand’s visibility and trust. By developing a strategy, networking develops trusting relationships between you and others. Networking is an easy technique to transfer brand values, vision, and mission to establish your reputation because branding corresponds to what others say about you when you aren’t there. And it all boils down to reputation. This is why attending professional and social gatherings might help you get your name out there.
- PROVIDES OPPORTUNITIES
Networking is a great approach for a small business to find new prospects. “It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know”. This is the individual you will encounter who will open doors for your firm. These opportunities, however, are not a boon. You must establish a relationship of information exchange, trustworthiness, and unity by providing useful information or advice to others who require it in order for them to assist you later.
Some examples of opportunities gained from networking:
- Grow your business
The faster you wish to expand your company, the more vital your network will become. Your network should consist of relevant connections who can open doors and be called upon when necessary.
- Meet influential people
Having a well-developed network of people from various backgrounds and occupations can help you locate and speak with very powerful people who would otherwise be out of reach.
- PR opportunities
People in the public relations business are constantly on the lookout for fresh guests and contributors for whom they may write articles or obtain interviews for radio, print, podcasts, and online pieces. When people in this industry need help, they may think of your company and your narrative if you know them personally or indirectly.
- Access to Collaborations
By meeting the right people, with common interests, some ideas and projects for the future can arise.
- FRESH IDEAS
- For your strategy
Networking is an excellent approach to spot emerging business trends. Thanks to your network you can learn from others by knowing what they are doing, which strategy they are following, and getting inspiration from them. They can also give you tips, ideas, and motivation, helping you to stand out from competitors.
- For your content
Remember that all questions posed during networking meetings or presentations are opportunities for content development that may be used in social media posts, blog entries, future presentations, or a website’s FAQs area.
- Define your target market
Having a clearly defined bullseye customer is always a challenge for businesses, especially when they are just getting started. This is, nonetheless, one of the most crucial sections. You will gradually get clarity on who you are targeting because you want to do business with them as you practice your pitch in front of your network. Like this, you could produce marketing content adapted to your target market.
- Testimonials, Recommendations, and Advice
Having your firm vouched for can only be beneficial to you and the company’s growth. When people get to know you and like what you’re doing, they’ll attempt to help you out as much as they can by becoming advocates for your company. As a result of networking, you can obtain testimonials and recommendations for your products or services.
Furthermore, your network will be made up of people with a variety of backgrounds who have faced similar issues in the past and can provide you advice and guidance to avoid making the same mistakes. They have a fresh perspective on you and your company, so their input will be really valuable.
Finally, networking boosts your self-assurance. You are on your own during networking, doing and saying things that have not been pre-approved by your company. You may have to force yourself to chat to strangers and venture out of your comfort zone. This will boost your confidence, and with more confidence comes more lasting relationships, as well as increased ambition and motivation to grow your business!
Networking can only be beneficial for your business and your personal development. Meeting people and discussing with them is the best way to be known and establish your reputation. You will then benefit from advice and some great opportunities can appear.
To network LinkedIn with 96%, Facebook, and Twitter with 82% each, these are the 3 most common social platforms used.
SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR TO START CREATING YOUR NETWORK?