Do you still need to be persuaded that, if you’re in business, you need to network?
Have you been avoiding networking meetings because you are convinced you can go it alone?
There are many benefits you can gain from networking, here are just 10 to get you started.
1. Networking is fun!
There’s always someone new to meet at a networking event. There’s always someone to talk to, someone to catch up with, someone to talk to about things outside of your business. If networking is not fun for you, you’re doing it wrong!
2. Networking promotes knowledge-sharing.
Whether you’re networking with someone in the same field of business that you’re in, or someone who is a prospect for your goods or services, everyone benefits from knowledge sharing. You can learn of the next big thing in business apps, or of a potential career opening in a business you have your eye on. People love to talk, and news – good or bad – travels fast, so networking events are the perfect vehicle for sharing knowledge. (Just make sure of your facts before you repeat what you heard!)
3. Networking boosts your profile.
The more people you network with, the more people you know. And the more people you know, the more people know you, your business, and your skills. This, coupled with great testimonials for your business, raises your profile in your networking circles.
4. Networking strengthens connections.
Networking is like the worldwide web – there are so many connections to be made, and our many friends and colleagues are connected in various ways. For example, because my friend Julie knows Jeff, Jordan, and Jamie, that puts me in contact with Jeff, Jordan, and Jamie. And when I introduce Jeff, Jordan, and Jaime to my friend Jasmine, our network becomes stronger. Multiply this by 100 of my connections, and the connection possibilities are limitless!
5. Networking spawns fresh ideas.
You’ve heard the expression “two heads are better than one”? Multiply that by the number of people in your personal network! You’ll never be lost for ideas again when you realize how many minds you have to tap.
6. Networking keeps you “in the know”.
Never fear that you don’t have the latest information. Your network will make sure that you never need to worry about missing a newspaper, or a news story, whether it’s local or global. Someone always knows what’s going on, even before you have to ask!
7. Networking generates referrals.
There are networking groups dedicated to the business of passing referrals. But, even if thats not the sole purpose of your networking group, make sure you are known as the expert in your field. Attend events regularly, and talk about your business, your skills, and your achievements, so other networkers remember that you are the “go to” person when they’re looking for someone in your field of expertise!
8. Networking builds friendships.
Let’s face it, entrepreneurs are a friendly, caring bunch! And some of the people you network with are your best friends. People you enjoy spending time with, and people you can count on to be there when you need them. People with similar interests tend to become friends, and those friendships are strengthened at networking events.
9. Networking highlights your expertise.
Along the same line of thought as #7, when you attend networking events regularly, your name becomes more and more well-known. People may tag your name with your profession, so you’re called out as “Joe the plumber”, or “Helen the social media expert” – your name becomes synonymous with your business, and that’s a good thing!
10. Networking helps build a support system.
You’ll never have to reach for the Yellow Pages when looking for a tradesman, a business, or a product. Your connections are all you need. Looking to have a tree chopped down? You met the local “tree doctor” at an event a couple of weeks ago! You can turn to your network for an opinion on the best gym to join, for the bank with the best interest rates on a mortgage loan, for a recommendation on a new car, and when you need to hire someone to take care of your accounts. Word of mouth is a powerful support system, and you’ll learn to rely on the referrals of your network.
photo credit: Patricia Mellin via photopin cc