Networking isn’t just about acquiring new business, it is about surrounding yourself with a support network for your life in general. You can never have too many contacts!
Running a business can be an isolating and stressful experience, but when networking you learn so much about different types of businesses, what is happening in the business community and have the opportunity to share your experiences.
In fact, close friendships can be created while networking.
So who should you network with?
From a business development perspective, it is a good idea to network with potential clients. From a career perspective, networking is more about developing your current career and broadening your horizons, so talk to business people who have been in your position and can offer advice.
It is also a good idea to belong to your industry specific network – such as one run by the professional association you may belong to.
Network with potential clients
You should attend networking events that your potential clients or customers would attend. For example, if your target market is small businesses, then participate in networking events for small business owners. Sometimes your local chamber of commerce will run these events.
Network with people in your industry
You can join industry specific networking groups, which are often run by the professional association you may belong to. It is important to build relationships with those who work within your field. Building professional relationships with others in your industry can help attract prospective clients through referrals and partnerships. By communicating and engaging with these people you can gain practical advice and inspiration to achieve your own goals.
Networking with women
This has been the biggest growth area in networking in the past five years. There are so many groups now and we’ve included a list of Women’s Networking Groups in the bonus of Personal Branding Secret Weapon: NETWORKING Resource Guide. Women often network differently to men as they tend to be more relationship driven, which suits many women’s style of communication.
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Don’t forget to get your copy of our FREE Personal Branding Secret Weapon: NETWORKING Resource Guide with bonus list of over 500 Networking Groups.
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