Networking places a huge role in gaining, growing and maintaining relationships with those in the business world, and particularly in your own sector of business. Whilst modern day methods such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-per-Click (PPC) are great ways to increase your business’ online presence (source: Vaccoda Design), networking events allow you to meet face to face with like-minded and interested businesses and potential clients that online simply doesn’t do.
Recommendations and Connections
In the business world of today, businesses predominantly thrive off recommendations and connections with others. In the case of business, it is true that “it’s not (always) what you know, it’s who you know.” If you want to see yourself successful in business, you will need a great source of connections in your network.
Therefore, probably the most obvious benefit of networking events and one of the biggest reasons that business owners choose to participate in them is to increase their business through gaining contacts. The contacts in turn are likely to make referrals, and you (the business owner) the same for them potentially.
It is almost guaranteed that the referrals that you get through networking are usually high quality and most of the time are even pre-qualified for you. You may even be able to follow up on these referrals and potentially turn them into clients. Therefore, the business owner is getting much higher quality, personal leads from networking than alternative forms of marketing.
Opening Up Opportunities
Putting a group of motivated business owners together opens up a world of opportunities for your business. Opportunities could come in the form of collaborations, partnerships, client leads, opportunities to speak and write publically and this list goes on! Opportunities within the networking world really are endless, which is why they are so worth partaking in.
However, be sure to only take up opportunities that are worthwhile, do not just jump on anything that comes your way. Take time to consider any offers or leads. The things you take up should align with the ethos of your business and your business goals and visions.
Making Yourself Known
Being visible and relevant in the business world is a huge benefit of networking. Be sure that you regularly attend events to do with business and socialising, that will help to get you noticed. By attending events, you can shape your reputation; a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive person by offering useful information or tips to people who would benefit. This way, you are also more likely to get referrals and client leads.
Increase Your Confidence in the World of Business
By networking on a regular basis, while pushing yourself to talk to people you are not familiar with, you will get increased confidence, and the more you do this, the more this confidence will grow to the point networking is second nature. It is especially important to network if you are a business owner, because the growth of your business is largely dependent on communicating with other people and making those key connections.
If you feel as though you are not a confident person, networking is great as it really pushes you to get out of your comfort zone and learn how to make conversations and lasting connections with people that are strangers at first.
Your ability to communicate will build up trust in potential clients and other business owners who may offer your name as a recommendation to their connections.
Motivation and Positive Influence
The others that you meet when networking and talk to will influence and motivate you. Thus, it is very important to be surrounding yourself with uplifting, positive and encouraging people that will help you to grow and flourish as a business owner. Networking is typically great for this, as business owners that are partaking in networking are usually people that are extremely motivated to do well and are wanting to make connections.
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