One of the top marketing tactics, which is mostly ignored by most marketers, is the fact that as a business owner, one of your potential resources is your own personal network. This is because, regardless of the amount of information you get from various sources, your personal networks provide powerful ways for you to gain insight and direction for business growth.
Networking is one of the most important ways to build your professional capital and take your next step in business, as it involves growing and maintaining a close-knit network of knowledgeable individuals, and that can be one of the best investments you can make as a business owner.
Networking is referred to as an investment, because it takes time and patience, this means that you shouldn’t expect them to come over night, however, the results of networking can be life-changing.
A personal network refers to a group of caring, dedicated people who are committed to maintain a relationship with a person in order to support a given set of activities. Having a strong personal network requires being connected to a network of resources for mutual development and growth.
Just like your personal relationships, business relationships must be skillfully maintained to bear positive fruits.
It is important to note that a solid network is integral to strategically positioning yourself and your company for future success. That is why it is important for you to maximize your potential and cultivate your network with these five tips.
While filtering through your personal network, start by identifying your core contacts, people you know personally and are naturally willing to help you regardless. These are your top networks, because they fully understand what you are doing and they are ready to support you through it all.
2. Capitalize on External Connections
Having identified your top personal networks, it is also needful to look into your external networks. This involves your mutual friends, college friends and any other degrees of separation that could get you a simple introduction, thus, creating your own network. This set of people, though not directly your personal networks, can help boost your business as well.
3. Offer Value
The first major rule of networking is understanding that other people don’t exist, just to serve your purposes. This means that you need to first build up some level of social capital before you start asking for favours. As a marketer or a business owner, you can start by offering some help to someone that could be a valuable connection for you down the road.
By offering them value, you win their hearts towards growing your business, because they receive value from you, therefore, they would be more willing to assist your business as well. If you are confused on how you can offer value to them or the kind of value they need, you can ask them.
The most important thing is that you shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking only about your own personal interest or agenda when networking.
The connections you make, either business or personal, are more likely to help you in the future if you helped them in the past.
4. Be In Their Moments (Follow up)
It is unwise for you to disappear out of their lives especially after you’ve received some kind of assistance for your business from them. It is important that you still follow them up with the use of emails, phone calls, texts etc.
This simple act will reiterate your commitment to the connection and allow for easier transitions into future conversations, because your personal networks have the ability to propel you both professionally and personally. Remember that every networking opportunity is a way to showcase yourself and your company, so it is important to take advantage of every occasion to meet a new person, learn a new industry and expand your web of connections.
In conclusion, the major benefits of having a strong network are knowledge and referrals. However, you should understand that growing a network takes time to build and develop into something useful, as you have to get to know everyone, establish yourself as a giver and gain their trust before they’re going to take the time to grow and support your business.Featured image source: PNGwing
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