Gone are the days when brands had to break the glass ceiling to bring their products and services to the limelight. This is all thanks to the easy exposure, easy publicity and most importantly, easy networking which was all brought about by the internet.
To think that these advancements have really eased the struggle in the business sphere, it's a fact that there are businesses that still don't fully enjoy these benefits, either because they are ignorant of ways to go about it or because they are not so business savvy.
This is a chief contributing factor to the fact that 9 out of 10 startups fail. Without marketing strategies like effective networking and brand exposure, it's literally impossible to build a large business venture and a solid financial ground in this digital age.
Although brand exposure and effective marketing strategy are also keys to business success, below are reasons networking is a prerequisite, how to go about it and how to make it work for you and your business.
Importance of Networking
Every individual is skilled, talented and knowledgeable in different fields. In the areas of computing, marketing, health, engineering and so on, there exists professionals and experts.
However, despite this diversity, every individual directly or indirectly needs the service and products of the other to function efficiently. This means, regardless of your career field, you can't be entirely self-dependent.
As this is the case, companies and individuals who rely only on their business savvy, inner cycles and close business associates often have a hard time in the field when certain products and services are out of their reach.
Networking will help you meet different individuals, give and get tips and advice, and also share resources or knowledge with people who are better off and more experienced in the field than you. It also helps to create a community of like-minded individuals, a community where businesspersons, entrepreneurs and even artists share their knowledge and also gain more insight and experience.
Getting the most out of Networking
Social networking platforms like LinkedIn and even Twitter have made this process totally easy. To begin with networking in any of these platforms, you have to first establish yourself as a professional in your field. This means, building solid social proofs and getting recommendations from the higher ups in your field.
In social networking platforms, there are going to be lots of imposters claiming to be a professional. Therefore, there's a need to separate yourself from that field by taking the above approach which is a prerequisite for an effective networking because it helps to filter people with real knowledge and abilities from people disguised as professionals.
Upgrading your networking skills
Of course, setting up a social networking account and showcasing your different social proofs is the first step in networking. However, this is only the basic approach to networking. To get the most out of it, it takes even more effort to discover and apply the best approaches.
Therefore, below are key pointers to bear in mind when networking:
1. Approach professionally
It's easy to make new connections via social networking platforms, however, it's quite difficult to make connections that last. Don't approach new contacts trying to sell off on things.
Approach individuals in the manner of building a long-lasting business relationship with them and you will have the opportunity to sell them as many products as you want at a later time.
2. Respect personalities and be prepared for any outcome
As you may be getting started with networking, others have been doing it for ages, and some may even not see a need to add a new contact to their already existing lots. Understand this and don't expect too much when approaching new contacts.
3. Know your potential and worth
Without a clear understanding of your personal worth, you'll have a difficult time blending in as you'll view every individual as a higher up and settle for less than you really deserve.
4. Focus on the long run
Long-term business relationships yield more benefits. When meeting new contacts, don't focus only on deals that'll benefit you alone. Make deals that will benefit each party and the connection is bound to last longer.
5. Make Networking a habit
To really get the most out of networking, you have to make it a routine because the more you network, the more you uncover more tips that work.
To round it up, networking is never an option for a business venture that wants to succeed in this age, but a prerequisite. Inculcate the networking tips above to watch your brand soar.