No man is an island—people have depended on each other since the beginning of time. When you were a child, you relied on your parents; when you wished to learn, you relied on your teachers, and now that you want to accelerate in your career, you will have to make use of your network.
Networking has such a bad reputation, often perceived as taking advantage of people for the sake of your own desires—something that’s incredibly selfish and very unprofessional. While it can be used for such purposes, networking is more than just what you know or what you’ve heard of.
Shattering the Networking Misconceptions
Networking isn’t about connecting with others to get something in return. On the contrary, networking is all about give and take—an exchange of information and ideas with people or groups to develop mutually-beneficial relationships. Rather than trying to get something out of them, you also must have something to offer so that they can benefit from you, too.
Networking isn’t composed of fake smiles and ulterior motives but about establishing rapport and trust in your community, promoting your business interests, and helping others. When done right, you get to have more opportunities to collaborate with experts to improve and grow your business through your network.
Building Your Professional Network
Making your business succeed will take more than just working overtime—you have to look beyond your office walls and connect with the right people! Never underestimate the power of knowing people.
Yes, networking does take a bit of effort, possibly more if you’re an introvert, but it is vital to your company’s success. You have to successfully market yourself if you want to form connections with influential and great people.
Networking isn’t as easy as shaking hands and exchanging smiles. People will only connect with you if you take the correct methods and possess the necessary skills. Read through our guide on how to build your network effectively:
One Platform Isn’t Enough
Networking is no longer limited to in-person meet-ups. Thanks to modern technology, you can now connect with people through emails, texts, video chats and more! You have to be well-versed in all forms of communication, and not just the platform you’re used to; this will help you connect with others more efficiently and effectively.
Be a Good Listener
Networking isn’t all about you. You might be eager to talk about your business and what you can offer, but you still have to be thoughtful, empathetic and invested in the people around you.
Take Your Time
Take a pause and calm down—networking isn’t a contest! Rather than connecting with as many people as possible, consider taking your time to make a real connection; talk about how you can help each other out.
Going home with just one contact doesn’t immediately equate to failure—in this effort, quantity doesn’t always mean success!
Have a Positive Attitude
Everybody likes friendly people. If you project positivity and confidence, people will be more interested in what you have to offer. Your enthusiasm and optimism show that you may have a great market potential for your investors.
Attend Networking Events
Attending networking events in your field helps you increase your chances of connecting with your ideal prospects. If you’re still not comfortable interacting with others, networking events are a great place to start honing your interpersonal skills as well. Attending event after event will help you up your networking game and will eventually allow you to become better at marketing yourself and your business.
Your network is essential to your business’s success. If you want to connect with the right people, you have to make a great effort in getting them interested in you. Remember, you should prioritise the strength rather than the number of your connections. It’s never about who you know, but who knows you.
Successfully build your network with NRG Networking! We provide support for both start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses so that all members feel welcomed, comfortable and safe to grow at their own pace and on their own commitment level. View our list of upcoming meetings to join now!