In today’s world, success in business is not measured in the amount you spend on marketing, but on the number of relationships you have established. Throwing millions of dollars at ad agencies won’t make you a leader in the industry – but spending time creating and nurturing relationships with others will. There are a few ways to approach networking effectively, and each offers certain advantages over the others.
Attending networking events in your town or city is a great way to meet others in your industry who are working in the same field. It’s easier to establish a strong relationship in person than it is to do so on the internet; however, it can also be more intimidating to walk up to someone in person. Check websites such as MeetUp or your local paper and Chamber of Commerce for news about upcoming network events.
Depending on your industry, Twitter is one of the easiest ways to make connections. All you have to do is send out a tweet to an industry leader. Comment on their recent article, or share some useful information with them. Take part in the conversation, rather than being a silent observer. Let your name be noticed around your industry in your field; after a while, you’ll begin to be recognized as a valuable contributor to the discussions.
LinkedIn is a great way to connect with those who are influential in your industry. Sending connection requests can help, but doing a cold approach isn’t always the best option. Join groups and discussions on LinkedIn and offer your input or opinion. Don’t do it with the intent of getting to know someone in particular; just be present and insightful. After some time, you will build relationships with other commentators and the connections will form naturally.
Networking allows others to present you with opportunities you may have missed on your own. Rather than spend all of your time trying to grow, allow others to help you out. Relationships in business can lead to customers, partnerships, and much more. Even your competitors have valuable insights to offer. Take a bit of time each day to take part in the discussions going on around you. After some time doing this, you’ll begin to see results in the way your business runs.
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