Networking: The Importance in 2021
We understand that networking is often the one thing that most people dread and can be often shoved to the bottom of your to do list. It can be quite daunting, time consuming and sometimes an awkward experience for some people. Not only this but 2021 has made us shift how these networking events now happen. Long are the days gone where you can go to a live networking event, grab a nice cup of coffee and talk to people face to face. Now we’re faced with virtual networking events, the delayed reactions, talking over one another and the inability to read body language, can all add to individual’s anxiety going into these events. But fear not, we’re here to give you some tips and tell you why exactly you should be attending networking events. But lets start at the beginning shall we…
What is networking?
In its simplest terms, networking is the exchange of information with others. It’s about building long lasting relationships with other people, creating a mutually beneficial relationship. A lot of the time people think networking only consists of ‘networking events’ but you face networking opportunities every day of your life! Whether that’s talking to someone on your commute to work, making conversation with someone in the coffee line or participating in a group class at your local gym. These experiences are all offering you chances to create relationships with different people, which is what networking is all about!
Why is networking important?
Connected people are often the most successful. Networking can help you meet prospective clients, partners, keep you on top of the latest trends all whilst developing your communication and presenting skill sets. It also enables you to connect with business owners you would never usually come across day-to-day, ultimately growing your business in new industries.
So now you know exactly what networking is and why it’s important, lets take a look at how you can perfect your networking.
Book a networking event – Booking on to an event is a great way to guarantee you’ll have a successful networking experience. You’ll not only usually have a host and ambassadors to ensure the event runs smoothly but you’ll also meet an abundance of likeminded business people who are all in the event for the same reason – to meet people! The best thing is, a lot of networking events have been moved online due to covid, meaning you can meet an abundance of people from the comfort of your own home! Location is now no longer an issue.
Plan what you’re going to say – You obviously can’t plan for every possible question that is going to be asked of you but planning for certain questions can be beneficial. Things that are most definitely going to come up like, who you are, what you do for work, what your company does, what you’re planning to get out of the session. These answers are likely to come in handy and gives you some confidence when talking to people in the session.
Follow up – this is almost just as important as the networking itself. The time you invested in speaking with someone new won’t benefit your career development if you fail to follow up afterward. Connecting with individuals on Linkedin with a personalised message is a great way to start. This can really help accelerate your business relationships as you can support one another on your journeys.
Whether you love it or hate it networking isn’t going away any time soon. The more events you go to the easier it becomes and the more relaxed you will feel. Each time you’re networking you’re working towards building new connections and potentially new leads and opportunities that you wouldn’t have experienced before.
If you’re interested in networking with us we’d love to hear from you! Reach out to us today!