Business network: You probably know that building a business network is important. It can bring you more clients, better opportunities, and help you advance your career.
However, you might not have the time or inclination to attend lots of networking events in order to build contacts. In fact, research shows that only 18% of people with jobs have an effective network .
With so many demands on your time, it’s no wonder that many people don’t have time for a business network. But if you want to grow your business, you don’t really have an option: if you don’t build a network, someone else will take the opportunity from you.
In this blog post we will explain why a business network is so important and how you can create one that works for you.
The 7 Ways to Create a Powerful Business Network
Today’s business world is more connected than ever before. Thanks to the internet, social media and other digital tools, you can reach out to people everywhere you need connections. However, while technology makes it easier to find potential contacts, it doesn’t make it any easier to become their trusted partner or friend. After all, trust takes time to build and an initial connection cannot be based on nothing but a stranger’s profile and online presence. If you want to create a network of strong connections that will pay off in the long run, you need to think strategically about how you can make this happen. The following 7 tips will help you establish connections with people who matter:
Be selective about who you connect with
You might be tempted to connect with everyone you meet. After all, that’s how you’ll have a bigger network, right? Wrong. You can’t expect to build a meaningful and powerful network based on not much more than a connection or two. You need to be selective and choose the people you want to connect with wisely. This means you need to be clear about the kind of network you want to build. What are your goals? What do you want to get out of this? When you have a clear vision, it will be easier to know who and how to connect. When you’re clear about what you’re looking for, it will also be easier to recognize the right connection.
Networking doesn’t have to be uncomfortable
If you’re uncomfortable reaching out to new people, networking will feel like a huge challenge. Thus, the first thing you need to do is change the way you think about it. Networking doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Sure, it might feel a little awkward at first, but it doesn’t have to be a completely scary experience. To make it as comfortable as possible, try to look at it as simply reaching out to people who you want to connect with. Also remember that this is not a one-time thing. Building relationships takes time, and networking is not something you do once and be done with it. Instead, it’s a long-term investment that pays off only if you’re taking the time to nurture these connections. Take networking one step at a time, and make it as comfortable as possible.
Finding the right events for networking
One of the best ways to start building your network is to attend networking events. You can join local business or entrepreneurial groups, or you can look online for networking events in your area. No matter where you find events that might be relevant for you, make sure you go and participate. Remember, you want to be selective about the people you want to network with, so make sure you choose events that will help you find the right connections. Once you know where to look, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get out there and start meeting new people. However, you’ll need to make sure you show up prepared. Have a clear purpose for why you’re going to the event. Make sure you’ve done your research about the people who will be there. Prepare a few talking points about why you’re there or what you’re interested in.
Commit to showing up
If you really want to build a network, you need to show up. You can’t just sit back and hope other people will come to you. You have to be proactive and make sure you’re out there connecting with people. No matter how uncomfortable you feel, or how awkward you think it will be, you have to commit to showing up. You have to commit to showing up even when you don’t feel like it, when you don’t feel prepared, or when you don’t feel like you have anything to contribute. In the long run, this is what will help you build trust and become a valuable member of these communities.
Commit to staying in touch and following up
Once you’ve connected with someone, you need to make sure you stay in touch. This means you need to follow up. Make sure you keep up with the people you meet at events, connect with old colleagues, and reach out to people you want to know more about. Keep in mind that this is a two-way street, so you need to be prepared to accept when someone reaches out to you as well. And while it might seem you have to be on all the time just to stay in touch with everyone, there is a fine line between being a really good networker and being incredibly annoying.
Don’t make it all about you
It’s good to lead with your strengths, but at the same time, you can’t make everything about you. Networking isn’t a competition or an opportunity to brag about your achievements. It’s a way to connect with other people who have valuable experiences and might be able to offer you something in return. So, make sure you’re open to sharing your story, but also make sure you’re willing to listen to others. In the end, you want to be someone people are interested in and want to connect with. This means you need to be authentic and real, but at the same time, you need to be mindful of how much you’re sharing.
No matter what industry you’re in or what you do, you need to be intentional about creating a powerful network. This will help you reach more people and be more impactful wherever you go. However, it’s not something you can do on your own. You need to put in effort and make sure you’re reaching out to the people around you. You also need to be selective about who you want to connect with. This isn’t something you can do quickly. It takes time, so you need to be patient and commit to building meaningful connections that can last for years.