In the century of enormous technology and social media influence, networking is becoming more and more inevitable. Unless you plan on living out your days like Siddhartha, leaving home and denouncing all material possessions in search of spiritual enlightenment, your chances of having no social network is close to zero.
It sounds like an obvious concept, but I’m going to state it anyway: knowing another human being is a huge asset when it comes to promoting your business. Everyone had a past life before you met them, with friends and colleagues from various places and points in time. If you meet someone, whether at a party or a networking event, who is or knows someone who could be interested in your business, you’re already succeeding.
Having a social network is not just limited to your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and LinkedIn connections, but these are good places to start promoting your business. Here are other ways networking can benefit your business:
A Friend’s Friend is Your Friend
The beauty of networking is hopefully meeting someone who will be interested in you or your business. And networking is not just limited to career fairs, conferences, or other professional events. Even striking up conversations with friends of friends could prove beneficial. That person could know or work for someone who could potentially be interested in your business.
This is not to say that you should only tag along to events with friends in the hopes that they will introduce you to a potential client or business partner. Friendly conversation goes a much longer way than butt-kissing. Just don’t go there. Ever.
Have Conversations with Like-Minded Individuals
Is there a direct connection you know in your field? Go to events with them and meet new people. Find someone with whom you can exchange ideas. Take some business cards. You never know what these connections can bring.
While at Binghamton, I did an editorial internship, was editor of the Undergraduate Literary Journal, and contributed to the University newspaper. Outside of school, I also attended readings of my favorite authors and volunteered at a poetry event with Poets and Writers magazine. All of these experiences allowed me to meet talented writers helped me network with people who had the same interests as me.
Join Professional Networks
A great way to expand your professional network is by participating in LinkedIn groups that relate to your field. Usually when you join a professional network you can interact with people via discussion groups and article groups. Being well-known on a LinkedIn group can help to expand your network, promote your business, and pave the way for long-term professional relationships.
Wishing you professionals a happy networking!