What You Put Into Networking You Will Get Out of Networking- 7 Benefits of Networking
Networking is about interacting with like minded professionals and building relationships.
Networking helps to build the know, like and trust factor and people typically do business with those who they feel connected with and trust.
You can network face-to-face at social events, conferences and through industry associations. You can also network online, through sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. The more ways you can network, the more your business will benefit.
Here are 7 different benefits for entrepreneurs who are involved in networking:
1. You will become known:
The most rewarding benefit of networking is being visible and getting noticed. It is important to attend business and social events regularly as that makes your face known. Once you become known and are seen on a regular basis you become top of mind. If someone is looking for a photographer and you are top of mind then boom you will get the referral.
Your consistent presence and visibility will help you get more leads and referrals.
2. Ability to share knowledge:
Networking is ideal for expanding your knowledge by taking advantage of the viewpoints and prior experience of others. Wouldn’t you like to know from others in your field or maybe in another field what they have tried in their business? Wouldn’t it be helpful to find out what was fruitful and what was not?
3. Build confidence:
For most people networking is stepping out of your comfort zone. You are putting yourself out there with people that you don’t know. You will build social skills as well as stepping out of your comfort zone. The more you do it the easier it will become.
4. Get advice from others:
I always say that you can’t walk into the supermarket and ask for advice about your business. Well you technically could ask a total stranger but they may look at you a little funny!
When you attend a networking group regularly you gain a tribe to ask advice from. Maybe you have a new marketing idea or you are interested in starting a podcast. Offering genuine assistance to your contacts also sets a strong foundation for receiving support in return when you need it.
5. Develop long-lasting personal relationships:
Of course we network to build professional relationships but quite often these professional relationships turn into long lasting friendships. I have seen this happen many times over the past 10 years of owning SEVEN Networking. One of our members said in the past
“Coming to a SEVEN Networking meeting is like being with your siblings on a good day!”
Sounds fun, right?!!
6. Connections, connections, connections:
Remember you are not just gaining exposure to the people in the room, you are building connections with their network too. If someone they know has a need that matches your business, if you have made an impression, you will likely get a referral. And remember to introduce your connections to people in your network as well. It will help to strengthen your relationships.
We start out as strangers at a networking meeting but over time we get to know each other and build trust. That is when the magic happens! Everyone wants referrals. Not only are referrals generated through your network normally high-quality (and free!), but they may even be pre-qualified for you. In addition, the person who refers you may, at their discretion, give a recommendation for you. The hard work has been done; you only need to follow up with the referrals in order to turn them into clients.
Remember, too, that you can’t just build the relationships; you need to maintain them by consistently and regularly following up with your connections, whether it’s chit-chat and business cards at the annual networking meeting, or margaritas and beer at the weekly happy hour.
What networking groups do you belong to? We would love to hear about them and how they have helped you grow your business.