Networking is a process; follow it and you will become an ace networker!
For a professional, networking is the fastest and most effective way to build a business or career. If you network effectively, the relationships you create will generate a stream of opportunities...
Professionals report that 80 per cent of their business comes from people they know.
But what exactly does business networking means and where can you network? First, it is important to understand the two types of networking for business success: online and face-to-face networking. Those two successfully combined will make you a top-class networker.
Networking will help you:
Spot or generate opportunities
Build or grow your business or career
Extend and strengthen relationships
Increase your pool of contacts
Build awareness of what you do
Understand the market place and business landscape
Raise your personal profile externally
But in today's business word, your time really does equate to money. So how do you network efficiently so that you can maximise your productivity and deliver exceptional service and results?
Four elements needed for a successful networking strategy: credibility, personal brand, visibility and social capital.
Your business networking really start with an action plan: what are your goals and objectives, your strategy, your success criteria, list of A-listers and assessment of current assets. Once that is done, you then need to get started with your networking!
The online tools you choose will be really dependent on your strategy and objectives but our recommendation for all of you is to at least be really active on LinkedIn (as a minimum).
There are many options for face-to-face events and networking so our recommendation is to ask your contacts for their preferred ones and try a few to decide which ones fit best with your current goals. Look out for the format of those events, the regularity of the meet-ups, the industries guests represent etc.
Not all face-to-face events will be relevant for you.