It doesn’t matter if you have a cookie-cutter nine-to-five job in the corporate world or run your own business, and it doesn’t matter if you have four friends or forty. There really are advantages to networking.
It was once considered a method to increase your client base, but business networking is actually much more than that. It’s also a great way to gather information, meet new people, and develop your own skills—among other things!
Gather Information and Learn New Things
Even self-employed entrepreneurs who work from home can benefit from the advantages of networking. When you go to networking parties, which are often called “events,” or “meetups,” you’re going to learn something from somebody.
Whether it’s the inside tip that a major company in your area is looking for new hires or the fact that Google AdWords has coupon codes inside the latest edition of a certain magazine, you’ll learn something. Every bit of extra knowledge you can scoop up is beneficial.
Expand Your Social Circle
The more people you know, the more connections you have, which is why you really can expand your client base with business networking. In order to do so, though, you’re going to have to talk to others. Just showing up isn’t going to help you out much– you’re there to network, remember?
Even though networking parties can be pretty crowded, they’re usually just comprised of a lot of small groups of people that are chitchatting among each other. If you’re relatively shy, make it a goal to approach at least two people per event. They’ll probably even introduce you to someone else, and that will get the ball rolling.
Develop Skills You Didn’t Know You Had
Discussing what you do for a living with people at parties and events is also an advantage of networking because it gives you the ability to practice your “spiel.”
Even if it’s just going through the motions, explaining what services you offer, offering pros and cons of certain aspects of your industry, and letting people know how they can reach you should they decide they need some assistance are all good ways to practice doing it with real potential customers. (That’s not to say people at these events can’t become customers, too, but they’re probably not going to be as judgmental.)
Once upon a time, joining your local Chamber of Commerce or becoming a member of the Rotary Club were two of the few options out there for making business contacts. Don’t scoff at joining those organizations; just realize that there are lots of alternate ways to meet up with others out there. Speaking of meeting up with others, the website Meetup.com is a good place to find various groups in your area that can you experience the advantages of networking.Take Action. Get Results.
17 thoughts on “There Really are Advantages to Networking!”
I really need to make an effort to attend more of these networking events. Even when you think you know it all, it pays to get a fresh perspective on a particular field from someone. Networking events are also great places to improve your social skills too, and just get out and talk to another human being.. which is something I hardly get working at home all the time.
Very good points. You can certainly ‘grow” a lot socially getting out and forcing yourself into these situations above and beyond any little, “tidbits” that you receive from them. I have found that the times I do go these I always walk away with something new learned too.
A lot of people have suggested joining a ToastMasters group to develop their public speaking abilities that will make it easier to connect with people when you meet them the first time. I haven’t done this myself, but have considered it.
If you’re wanting to connect with business-minded people, a lot of local Chamber of Commerces or a convention bureau will host Business After Hours events where you can sample the goods of a local restaurant/hotel, and meet a variety of people. I have attended those and they almost always have a good turn out.
Joining a Toastmasters is a wonderful idea. I am not a huge fan of public speaking myself. That is part of the reason why I do not do “too many” videos on here. I always feel very self conscious.
I am aware of my shortcomings in this area and I do strive to improve it, though. A Toastmaster might be just the thing…
Brilliantly written networking is a key ingredients to success as you have rightly said you should speak to at least two person that two migh know another fifty and that is how the numbers adds up thanks for sharing
Yeah. Two is a minimum also. If you are more comfortable talking to people you should talk to more and set a higher “minimum”
I also like to tell people what I do and what business I have online. I never push or ask people to get involved. Just give out my card if it seems like a good time to do so and move on. But you can often get calls later with great ideas from this.
Super breakdown of how networking can grow your business. Your presence is expanded and as you noted it’s easier to develop your spiel when practicing it over and over at networking events.
I’ve seen the advantages of networking recently with my blog. A few months ago: a few readers and virtually no comments. By networking with fellow bloggers both numbers jumped.
Thanks for sharing the powerful networking reminder.
Yes social networking is a powerful tool. I have been seeing it help to grow my blogs reach in leaps and bounds also
Hi Steve, this is a good reminder. I have been meaning to network more but I keep forgetting. Things have been crazy hectic with me lately, but I’m going to set this as a high priority for October.
Good deal, I am not actually doing much networking ATM myself, it is definitely something to do when you can.
Nice Sunday Morning here. Your blog post regarding networking is awesome. You have written it just the way it feels after networking. For people who are attached to net working it is like a soul-mate. The empowerment and fulfillment that I feel with networking is amazing. Results are even more encouraging and you have explained it in this blog post very well.
Networking sure helps. I have noticed that people are more in to getting to know you with real phone, email and face to face meeting works the best!
Many times, opportunity (career and friendshipwise) comes around when you meet like minded people.
Steve, good reminders. Networking is vitally important to ones success.
Yup, you should never underestimate the importance of networking. Thanks for stopping by!
As a woman in business, I have found there is a real ‘sisterhood’ at women’s networking groups, and I have made some really powerful alliances.
Any group that you network with can become powerful alliances. Thanks for dopping by and commenting, come again soon. 🙂
Hi Steve, A few year ago I didn’t regard social networking as all that important. Today I have a whole different attitude. The world is all about people, and the more you know, the more that know you, the better off and more successful you’ll be. Take care!
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