Networking within your professional circles is vital to career and business success. Although you may think that networking is about selling yourself, it is actually about building long-term relationships and a solid reputation over time. As you meet and get to know people, you will find people whom you can assist as well as those who can help you. Based on trust and support, networking can make a big difference. These are some of the major benefits of networking.
1. Build Stronger Business Connections
Networking is not just about taking but also about giving and sharing. When you build trust among fellow participants and help each other towards your respective goals, strong connections are built. In order to achieve your goals, you need to develop reciprocal assistance by regularly engaging with fellow networkers and find ways in which you can assist them.
2. Gain New Perspectives And Ideas
Networking can give you access to a pool of excellent resource people. They can generate new perspectives and ideas to help your business. This is an ideal way to gain insights and share information on challenges, experiences and goals. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are struggling with a decision or facing a new challenge. Trusted advisors in the form of colleagues, mentors, teachers, friends can be very beneficial. Offer helpful ideas in return to build a reputation as an innovative thinker.
3. Raise Your Profile
You will need to regularly attend professional and social events to get noticed. Being visible is a benefit of networking as it aids in building your business contacts. You can ensure that this happens by being a good listener, following up on conversations, remembering names and offering your expertise. Build a reputation as being a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive member of your profession.
4. Access To Multiple Opportunities
Networking helps you expand your circle of contacts which in turn will give you access to new opportunities in your business, career, and personal life. If you are a regular networker, people will remember you first when opportunities arise. This may result in job openings, referrals, or getting introduced to potentially relevant people. You may find investors, partners and customers at startup conferences and similar events.
5. Gain More Knowledge
Networking gives you the perfect opportunity to access new and valuable information from the experts in your industry. You will land up getting access to best practices, knowledge, viable business techniques and the latest developments in various industries. Gathering new information may seem abstract but it can result in career progression and making important changes in your business. Besides actively asking your contacts about the latest developments and techniques, it is good practice to follow them on LinkedIn and keep abreast of articles that they are sharing.
6. Get Career Advice And Support
Experienced professionals and peers can give you valuable career advice in the course of networking. Very often they can advise you on challenges and opportunities that they have faced and can suggest options and avenues for you to explore. When the opportunity arises you must also offer genuine assistance which sets the stage from receiving support should the need arise.
7. Build Confidence
It isn’t easy to put yourself out there and meet new people. By pushing yourself to step outside your comfort zone, you will land up building invaluable social skills and self-confidence. Not only will you make lasting connections but networking will also help you grow as an individual.
8. Develop Long-lasting Personal Relationships
One of the main goals of networking is to develop and nurture professional relationships. What is a surprising byproduct is that you will land up making strong and long-lasting friendships as well. Your networking contacts will most likely be like-minded with goals that are similar to yours and a bonus would be if they have similar passions and hobbies.
If you are new to networking and hesitant to test the waters start with smaller groups that you are familiar with. This can include family, friends, work colleagues and social and interest-based groups that you already belong to. When you are ready to progress start networking at professional associations, alumni organisations and most importantly on digital networks and at startup conferences.
Important social networking platforms for business.
With our busy lifestyles, it is often difficult to navigate our business and social networking tasks properly. Which platforms should you focus on and what can they do for you? These are the most important tools that will help your business
LinkedIn is the top social networking site if you are looking to make business connections. This is the space where all business professionals converge. Given the nature of this online platform, the chances of you connecting with people actually interested in your business are high. LinkedIn has 467 million users, so that is one big pool in which you can find like minded people.
Facebook has 1.32 billion daily users. Although it was initially meant for connecting with family and friends, it is also a top networking platform for business professionals. This is a great place to make a business page and join groups specific to your area of interest.
It is a useful practice for startup owners and entrepreneurs to attend as many relevant networking events as possible. There is much value to be got from doing so as interacting with like minded people has many advantages.
Do you need help with networking on online platforms? We can assist you in making the right connections and uploading relevant content to showcase your business. We at The Social Expansion Project help businesses with their marketing strategies and goals. You can request for your free, no-pressure consultation here.