What is networking?
Networking is about meeting new people, making connections and developing a reputation. Your network can include everyone from friends, family, colleagues, business connections and social network members. It is not about selling. Networking is not there for business owners to grow their customers. It is there for anyone to develop lasting relationships.
Have you ever considered the benefits of networking?
Whether you are a recent graduate or established individual, networking is hugely beneficial.
Networking is often forgotten. Most people think there is no point as it doesn’t have many benefits. But networking is easier than you think. When there are social media sites such as LinkedIn, networking has never been easier. You don’t even have to leave your desk to attend a networking event.
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Career Benefits of Networking
Networking is about sharing information, not about selling. When you network, you build up your contacts. Engage with these professionals to gain insight, exchange information, learn about business techniques, find opportunities and get assistance. With these business connections you ultimately form trust and build referrals. You can also get free advice and guidance from these individuals.
Advertise Your Company
Although networking is not about selling, it does provide a great opportunity to spread the word about your company. At a networking event you are visible and more likely to get noticed. Tell these professionals all about who you are and what you offer. Don’t forget to talk about your USP.
When you network it is a great chance to talk about yourself. Tell people who you are, what you do and what makes you different. Build a rapport with these people. Raise your reputation and stand out as an individual.
Advance Your Career
Networking offers an opportunity for personal growth. There are several career benefits of networking:
- Get fresh ideas and new perspectives
- Bounce ideas off other professionals
- Gain insights and new knowledge into other businesses
- Discuss common challenges
- Build self-confidence
How to Network
Networking doesn’t come naturally to most people. Starting a conversation and interacting with a stranger can be daunting. Especially if you are intimidated by their success. By continually putting yourself out there and meeting new people you are stepping out of your comfort zone. It is always good experience to be pushed out of your comfort zone. But a simple way to ease into networking is through LinkedIn.
All you need is a profile and a can-do attitude.
Create an Effective LinkedIn Profile, reach out to other like-minded individuals and ask to connect. On here you can write posts to share with your network, join groups, like and comment on others content and even directly message those you wish to have a discussion with.
Once you’ve gained some confidence, investigate networking events near you. There are lots of websites that offer suggestions including: