As one advances in their career or starts growing their business, they tend to get busier and forget a most important aspect of business – networking.
As you grow, your peers and colleagues are also advancing and just as busy as you are. For young people, networking is just about sending a LinkedIn connection invite, but it’s not as easy. There is more to successful networking for business. How do you get the attention of people who get about ten invitations and 100 emails a week? And more importantly, how do you stay relevant to maintain this important acquaintance? A LinkedIn connection for a young intern is equivalent to sending a cold mail for someone who is much more senior or even for an entrepreneur.
The best thing to do would be to become an absolute expert or an influencer yourself in your area of work. This way the connections will slowly start seeking you. Another way is to find common ground – may be you are an expert in kitchen garden or zumba dancing and the one you are seeking to connect also has a similar passion. This helps immensely when it comes to networking. Another option for people seeking to make large scale connections and with enough budgets is to host an influencer dinner! A monthly dinner will help you bond with people important to you. Read about how this behaviorist built a large network of people.
So now that we have seen a few tricks to start networking, let’s get right on to the benefits.
Networking helps you in the following
Build meaningful connections – these are important connections which could be just about anyone; a journalist who could one day call you for an opinion or even better a story, an investor who will eventually trust you or could just be a mentor!
Get perspective – there are times when we have set a vision for the business but may be you just aren’t aligned or aren’t seeing the bigger picture. At a networking event, you get to meet people who are ahead of their times and this gives you important perspective in business.
Stay grounded: At times, it’s easy to get carried away; when you get that second round of funding or when you get a good coverage in a high flying business magazine. But these may not have any implication whatsoever on your revenue or new customer line. When you meet people who are more successful than you, it helps you stay grounded and also realign your vision.
New ideas: There will be a phase, a few days, weeks or even months when it seems that everthing is stuck in a rut. The best thing to do at this point would be to go out and meet people. Sometimes you get to meet your competitors and may walk home with a valuable tip.