As an entrepreneur and company owner, networking might be one of the most productive things you can do to grow.
Studies show networking at events can help companies get up to 20% more new clients, and a networking strategy can help you find new partners and investors help you develop your business.
Unfortunately, successful networking is not always easy.
Not only do you have to get used to the awkward first introduction while trying to build professional relationships with people, but then you have major time limitations.
Relationships take time to develop. Time is money, as every company owner knows. So, when you’re short on time, how can you make sure you’re still working on your networking strategy?
Try out these ideas…
Make it a daily ritual
The more you engage in networking on a regular basis, the easier it will become.
Instead of setting up an hour a week to meet with people who can help your business grow, utilize five minutes every day. Sending out emails and engaging with your industry peers on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn are good ways to begin your daily routine.
Try to schedule phone meetings with potential partners and investors and complete them whenever you’re stopped in traffic or have some down time.
Networking begins to seem more organic when it becomes as effortless as brushing your teeth or going to the bathroom.
Additionally, if networking becomes a habit, it becomes something you know you have to do. You’re less inclined to use the phrase “I don’t have enough time.”
Make Use of New Connections
Building new contacts isn’t the only benefit of networking.
There’s a high possibility you already have some good people in your network who can put you in touch with important people in your industry. The office is the perfect place to start growing your network.
Learn about your teams’ backgrounds and get to know them. When you have the chance, take advantage of lunches with coworkers and look for opportunities to meet new people through them. You may find that your internal network is far more powerful than you previously anticipated.
Getting acquainted with your team could also reveal that some of your employees have untapped talents that you might put to better use in your business.
Make Use of Your Current Activities
Why not utilize social events as part of your networking strategy if you already participate in them on a regular basis? If you often volunteer at nonprofits or charities, for example, you can spark up conversations with the people who work there.
Making the time to interact with others and develop your networking abilities will benefit you in the long run, even if you don’t make any important contacts. You can talk everywhere, from the gym to the cleaners.
Finding the time in your day to develop your capability to create emotional bonds with others is considerably more valuable than most people realize.
Plan Key Events Ahead of Time
You’ll need to make arrangements ahead of time if you want to attend a particular in-person networking event or trade show. Most activities will be impossible to attend at the last minute, but if you stay organized, you should be able to attend the most important ones.
To maximize your chances of consistent networking, try to attend at least one event every month, even if it is an online one. Make a list of the things functions you’d want to attend and schedule them so you can plan in advance.
Select the kind of events you attend carefully. Preferably, you’ll want to travel somewhere where you can meet people who can help you and your company.
Make use of social media
Finally, one of the most popular and easy ways to network these days is through social media.
Make it a habit to look through your LinkedIn contacts on a daily basis and reach out to people who could be valuable to your social circle. The secret to social media networking success is not allowing it to take up too much of your time.
Allocate a set amount of time to avoid becoming sidetracked for a lengthy period of time. If you have multiple social media accounts, consider integrating them with a social media marketing tool to make it easier to produce content and attract new followers.
Let’s Start Today.
Networking is essential for both your personal and professional success. Remember these pointers if you want to network without stepping back from building your business.