Networking and collaborating is a crucial foundation for successful businesses. Networking is all about connecting with like-minded individuals and building a reputation over time. It isn’t about selling your product or service but forming a community of individuals who would help you reach your goals based on the professional relationship you’ve built over time.
Networking has many benefits like strengthening business connections, bringing a new perspective, and inflow of ideas in your professional life. We often unknowingly engage in networking, some of the most simple instances are these-
Scenario 1 -
You meet someone at an event, tell them about what you do, and ask them for ways in which they can help you professionally. You keep sending them emails or texts as follow-ups while checking on what they are doing.
Scenario 2 -
You meet someone, introduce yourself, and then take out time to understand how you can connect them to a few people or projects in your sphere. You stay in touch and make sure you meet them regularly to get and give relevant updates. When people trust you and realize that there is enough merit in interacting with you, that’s when meaningful collaborations start.
But you don’t have to rely solely on in-person interactions. Using the power of social media to build these meaningful networks is just as viable. Platforms like LinkedIn are designed to engage in constructive, professional dialogues. What is needed at the end of the day is the drive and vision to scale through the effective usage of these platforms. More than ‘what’ you know it’s all about ‘who’ you know.
Today, the business implication of any professional collaborations are humongous. Having relevant connections in your network can work greatly in your favor to advance your career, access job opportunities, or even grow your business as an entrepreneur. Networking is a great way to tap into advice and expertise that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get hold of. Not only this, the referrals that you get through networking are vouched for. You can then follow up on these referrals/leads and turn them into clients. So the conversion probability of referred leads is higher since it comes with a sense of credibility. Networking and referrals always give you better leads than your best marketing campaign too.
Networking also leads to a highly impactful act of collaboration. Collaboration is a function of people, their ability to help each other, and the trust they build over time via interactions. The right attitude is receiving as well as giving. Just as you seek your network in times of need, you also need to be there for your peers for their needs. Building mutual trust and respect is the only recipe for successful business collaborations.
The benefits of networking are umpteen and we speak from personal experience. If these benefits aren’t enough to convince you, through networking, you will also develop strong friendships! It’s a group that you can turn to when you are facing any obstacle or need guidance. So, go ahead and build these networks.