As a business owner or representative, networking is an important way to get your brand known and establish yourself in the business community. Not only are many networking events free and informal, but they offer the perfect opportunity to shout about the amazing work you do whilst meeting likeminded individuals and potential clients.
We appreciate that the thought of interacting with strangers can sometimes be daunting, but we encourage both our team members and our clients to get involved with targeted networking as there are plenty of advantages. If you’ve been considering attending an event or are sat on the fence in regard to if networking is for you, this may help.
Create new contacts
The most obvious benefit of networking is making new contacts. There’s no better way to form relationships than to go out and meet people face to face. Getting to know someone at a networking event can lead to longstanding working relationships, whether you meet with them a week later or jump on the phone with them months down the line. Even just getting to know a familiar face in the business community can be valuable and make your time networking feel a little less daunting.
Promote your business
Another major benefit of networking is of course the opportunity to promote your business. Whether you’re attending a local, national or international event, you have the opportunity to reach new audiences who don’t know your business. There’s no better way to show people what your brand is all about than to show them you!
Have meaningful conversations
Meeting with likeminded individuals opens the door to meaningful conversations which will hopefully lead to fruitful professional relationships. One of the most important things to consider at networking events is to listen, take in information and when you have a good understanding of the other contact, be positive about your business and share not just the nature of your business but its vision. At events you might learn new things about your industry or other industries, as well as hear about new trends, products, services and untapped markets or demographics that you can target etc, which in turn can help improve the output of your business.
Boost your confidence (and network)
It’s always a positive step to move outside of your comfort zone. On both a personal and professional level, it’s important to challenge yourself and put yourself in situations you wouldn’t normally be in. After attending even just one networking event, you’ll probably find it wasn’t nearly as hard as you thought it would be and you’ll have more confidence when the time comes to walk into the next event.
While some networking events will be more useful or enjoyable than others, there really is no downside to networking as it provides the perfect opportunity to promote your company and find new business opportunities.
And remember – everyone else attending the event is in the same boat as you, so be confident and enjoy yourself!