The benefits of networking. When entrepreneurs think of networking, it's
usually in a "What ca they do for me" mindset. But the best way to get
the top contacts in your corner is to step up and serve others first.
With networking, you have a great deal of ways that you can benefit. People that you network with also stand to gain from the relationship. This give and take of mutual benefits can help support your end goals.
With your professional colleagues, they can offer help with some of the projects that you need to do or some of the situations that you need handled. They can be a sympathetic ear when you need one and you can often find a group of people who will have your back when the time comes to stand up for something.
In exchange, you can offer help with projects they need help with as well as offering the same support when they're in need of someone to listen to them brainstorm or vent.
If you're trying to build a network with your clients, this can benefit you by giving you someone who will root for you, someone who can help you reach your professional goals such as an increased client roster.
You can benefit this person by offering loyalty and the commitment to give each task your peak performance. Make sure you over-deliver and they will often reciprocate for you in the form of recommendations and bonuses.
You'll want to build networks with assistants and others who work closely with people that you want to network with. These are the people that protect their bosses from just anyone being able to reach them.
They help streamline a busy person's day and keep them on target. By creating a strong network with assistants to the people you'd like to reach out to, you can create that chance for direct contact.
What you can give back is gratitude and support that shows that you appreciate the effort. Assistants are often underappreciated and having someone acknowledge their work means more than you realize.
The benefits of networking with people who know more than you in whatever area you need the help with. You'll gain from their wisdom, their years of experience - and their contacts can become your potential contacts as well.
You can give them back fresh ideas, help with a project and be someone to bounce ideas off of. You can also help promote their promotions if you truly believe in the quality of their deliverables.
Others who are also looking to network can be great connections to make. When you're networking with others looking to do the same, you can stay in the loop for what's going on in your field.
Fellow networkers can also be helpful at finding openings for project bids, for new opportunities for sales and for potential career advancements. These people can help you be more aware of information that you need on hand in order to meet your goals.
They can share contacts and news for the field that you're in. You can then do the same for them. For instance, you might network with what is normally viewed as a competitor, where you each help the other build trust and loyalty with your audiences by co-hosting a webinar together.
You also want to network with community groups in order to create a platform, gain solidarity and share information with you. For their help, you can offer your expertise for their association or movement.
The benefits of networking with friends and family members offers good connection possibilities to help you reach your end goals. Family and friends can offer emotional support as well as be a sounding board and in exchange, you can do the same for them.
Go Where the Networking Opportunities Exist
When you're looking to network, you do have to put yourself out there to make connections. Even if you're making connections online, you still have to reach out.
Regardless of where you plan to connect, make it a priority to try to create at least one new networking opportunity every day. It may take a few contacts to make a solid connection.
LinkedIn is a great place for connecting, but so are forums in your niche, Facebook groups, and even direct networking platforms like Twitter! All you have to do to find the opportunities is use the site's search function with keywords.
When you're trying to connect, don't overwhelm the person with eagerness. You can network without coming across as too pushy. Keep in mind that other successful people have busy schedules and they may not respond for longer than you think.
Look for organizations of similar interest. If you're into making and selling jewelry and you're hoping to network because your end goal is to grow your business, then you need to network with professional organizations and leaders in the same niche.
This might be an association for jewelry makers. The association might be one that breaks down the jewelry by the kind it is - such as contemporary jewelry. You would also want to look for stonesetting or stonecutting organizations.
Many of those will offer valuable resources that can link you to further
networking opportunities. One thing you have to remember is that
joining isn't enough - you have to be an active participant.
How are people in a group going to know who to recommend for you to network with if they're unaware of your slant in the marketplace? So don't be afraid to be vocal about what you do and where you plan to take your business.
Look up trade organizations in the field that you're in. Pay attention to local and statewide organizations as well as national and international ones. These organizations can also help keep you in the loop on the latest trends and news in your area of interest.
You can get to know other people within these associations that form a bigger community and a greater chance of networking. Reach out to individual members who seem active and form closer bonds and friendships.
Go to as many conferences as you can possibly attend every year. You'll be able to mingle with others who can offer you resources and connections to help you reach your end goals.
The benefits of networking is you'll gain practical advice, be able to take learn from someone else's knowledge - and come away feeling inspired. Plus, you'll enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded individuals.
Make sure that you have an easy way that others at the gathering can contact you. You'll want to have a flier or business card. These people will be meeting and interacting with so many others - and you don't want your name to get lost in the crowd.
If you have a book in print, then you might have a few on hand to dole out to special connections - and make sure you autograph it with a personalized message and your contact information, too.
Go online to find the benefits of networking opportunities that you need. Many of the organizations that you'll seek have an online presence. You can easily engage and interact on a business's social media page or on their blog page.
If there's not something already online for a networking opportunity in the field that you're in or headed in, then create one. You can bet that if you're looking to network and nothing's available, that others are too - and they will find you.
Networking opportunities are abundant in many areas where you can find support both for your personal and professional goals. Being a part of a community should help you be more productive, so make sure you don't join one that seems to drag you down.
Read Part I Why Is Networking Important?
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