Do want to know more about networking for beginners? Are you new to business networking? If so, this short blog will provide you with a general rule of thumb to maximise networking opportunities.
What Is Networking?
Firstly, let’s define what networking is! Networking is a valuable tool for business professionals looking to build relationships and referrals. It can open up opportunities for personal growth, networking with potential customers, gaining referrals, forming strategic partnerships, or just making new connections. Networking is relationship marketing and purposely creating word of mouth for your business.
Be Proactive When Networking
Unquestionably, the key to effective networking is to be proactive. You should make it a goal to always look for networking opportunities wherever you go. You’ll find opportunities at networking events, networking meetings and groups, conferences, trade shows, or even in your day-to-day activities. Make networking a part of your marketing mix but remember that it will only work if you do. You must put the effort into building powerful relationships to get the results you want. Proactive versus reactive networking is the way to success!
Networking In Person
When networking in person, it’s important to get the most out of each encounter by engaging in meaningful conversations and creating positive impressions. Importantly, ask questions about their businesses and interests, explain what you do and why you’re there. Above all, exchange contact information, so that you can keep in touch afterwards. At the very least, suggest you connect on LinkedIn. It all goes a long way to building lasting professional relationships.
If networking in person isn’t an option, there are plenty of virtual online networking opportunities available to reach out and connect with people. Platforms like LinkedIn are great for connecting with individuals or groups related to your industry and keeping up on trending topics or conversations. Participate in discussion threads, share content that is relevant and interesting, and be sure to comment on other posts as well – these small actions can go a long way towards creating relationships and networking contacts online. My rule of thumb is to behave in the same way that you would if you were meeting people face-to-face. Introduction, rapport, get to know others, and put in the time to build from there.
There are lots of online networking opportunities available, too. Many of which are promoted on Eventbrite and other platforms that openly pormote networking. There’s something out there for everyone, so I’m sure it won’t be too long before you find the right networking for you and your business.
No matter what networking activity you pursue, it’s important to remember that networking should always be done with the intent of mutually beneficial collaboration. Keep an open mind when networking and focus on building new relationships first – the business deals will follow. Good networking can take time, but the effort put in will be rewarding in the long run. With patience and persistence, networking can have a positive impact on your and your business! Remember that you must follow the principle, know, like, rapport, trust, relationship. Don’t try to sell to everyone your meet. Instead, develop common bonds and build trust, so that the people you meet will happily and trustingly refer their contacts to you in the future. Be in it for the long haul, not for the short term gain, and you will be able to harness referrals. Mutual collaboration is essential!
Networking Requires Persistence
Good networking requires persistence, as it can take time to build strong relationships and open up opportunities. Keep in mind that networking should be done with the intention of mutually beneficial collaboration – focus on building new relationships first, and the business deals will follow. With patience and persistence, networking for beginners can become networking for networking pros! Make sure to take advantage of all networking opportunities; so whether they are in person or virtual, get out there and start making connections today.
Final Thoughts On Networking For Beginners
I’m the small business marketing and networking specialist, Tracy Heatley. I have been networking since 2003, operating my own networking groups since 2007, and training people in the art of successful networking since 2011. I know what works, so let me share my final thoughts, on networing for begginers, with you. Have a networking strategy and plan with purpose. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy every minute. It’s definitely worth putting the effort it!
Would You Like To Know More?
If you would like to learn more about networking, I offer a range of networking training and marketing mentoring services. Feel free to browse through my website, www.tracyheatley.com, or contact me directly if you have any questions or queries. I am here to help! There’s more blogs and my award winning podcast episodes here too. And remember: with effective networking, the sky’s the limit!
I hope you found this Networking For Beginners blog useful.
Wishing you the best of luck and success with your networking!