1. Networking is a great way to build relationships with others in your industry
When networking, it's important to remember that networking is not just about business. Yes, networking should be professional and all about your business. At the same time though, networking is also a great opportunity to build relationships with people in your industry. If you're networking for the right reasons, you will want to build real relationships with other professionals in your industry. These relationships can last a lifetime and go far beyond business cards and LinkedIn profiles. When was the last time you met someone at an event that wanted something from you? When networking events start feeling like they're only business-focused where everyone wants something more than just a deep relationship with others in their field of expertise then maybe it's time to reevaluate why you are networking or what networking events you should be attending.
2. It's an opportunity to find new customers for your business
At networking events, you'll likely meet other business professionals that need something you can offer. You may find someone who wants to outsource the project work your business does or has a potential new client for you. Sometimes networking opportunities will be right in front of your nose while other times networking is more about seeking those out and looking at networking as a way to get referrals for current customers.
3. You can use networking as a source of information about the latest trends in your industry
It's important to stay on top of trends in your industry. Keep networking because networking events are one of the best ways to get information about current trends happening in your field. Spending time networking can have huge payoffs as you will be able to notice changes earlier and react faster than if you didn't network with other professionals looking for similar business opportunities.
Don't let networking get stale. As networking can easily be seen as business networking, it's important to remember that networking is about building personal relationships with others in your industry who are not always going to be doing business or seeking a referral while networking with you.
When networking remember networking isn't only about finding new customers for your business but also about keeping those existing customers happy and wanting to do business with you again. Do you have any networking tips? Please leave them below!
4. You never know who you might meet at an event and what opportunities may come from it
Even if networking isn't about specifically finding new business connections it's still the best place to build quality relationships with others in your industry. You never really know when a networking event might turn into an opportunity for something bigger down the road so why not make every networking event count?
Try not to get too caught up in making new business connections when networking because networking is also a great opportunity to make friends and potential networking contacts for future networking events you might attend.
Always be open to networking with others that are outside of your industry as well. You may find that there is more to learn from people from different industries than just the one you currently work in or specialize in. And finally, remember networking isn't only about building relationships with others who do business like you but also about keeping current customers satisfied.