Why do you need to network?
Let’s face it.
As you get older, unless you’re in sales or working in some job where customer service is involved, it gets more and more difficult to meet new people and make real connections.
It’s not the same once you’ve graduated and enter the workforce working at an office job where your only friends become your co-workers (are they really your friends though?)
The moment you find yourself feeling stuck and limited in your ability to move forward in both your career and personal development, that’s when you know it’s time to get networking.
Here are 6 reasons why networking is a must if you’re serious about up leveling your life and business.
1. People lead to people.
It’s not just about the people you meet at the event but more about their network and the people they know.
I learned this when I was running my internet marketing business. I was always taught to tap into the networks of other people instead of exhausting my own. It definitely took me some time to develop this mindset but the more I kept tapping into my own network, the drier the pool got. Finally, I realized this was NOT an efficient way of doing things therefore it forced me to change my ways. That’s when I realized the true power of networking. People lead to people.
Another thing to keep in mind is if you leave a lasting enough first impression, are clear enough on what you do and develop a good relationship with them, they’ll remember you and talk about you to their network of friends.
2. You get to practice your ‘elevator pitch’ and get feedback on your ideas.
What better practice can you get than to pitch to strangers and potential customers?
It’s always biased when you practice with friends and family especially if they don’t want to be mean to you and say your pitch is terrible. But don’t get me wrong, if you have someone to practice with who can give you real, constructive criticism then you’re in luck. However, if you don’t then you’ll just have to resort to pitching to strangers and potential clients to test and see how effective your elevator pitch is. Based on that feedback, you’ll get to learn the hard way and learn faster too!
Another great thing to keep in mind is, you’re in a room full of strangers which means you’re in the perfect spot to receiving unbiased feedback and opinions on your ideas.
3. You never know what opportunity may present itself.
Never underestimate the type of people who could potentially be at the event. You never know who you could meet! Everyone has some sort of value to offer. Therefore, come to the event with the mindset of learning something from every new person that you meet.
Depending on what sort of networking event you’re attending or who is organizing the event, you can potentially meet CEOs, investors, recruiters, influencers or even highly influential people in specific industries.
Some people purposely go to networking events to scope out quality people for jobs, business opportunities, partnerships and collaborations. If you leave a lasting enough impression on someone, that person may have enough power to land you a new job or even place a new opportunity in your lap that could potentially change your life!
4. It’s a great way to build your personal brand & gain exposure.
Networking helps people put a face to a name especially nowadays with social media on the rise and online connections becoming the norm, face-to-face interaction is even more important than ever!
When you get off your phone and start transitioning from online to offline connections, it can help you in so many different ways. It helps people to know, like & trust you better especially if you are delivering some sort of value to them (please don’t sell to people upon the first meet! This is one of the LAST things you want to do otherwise you’ll scare people away).
The worst thing you can do is to be known as ‘that person’ whose always trying to sell to people.
5. Helps expand your creativity.
Like-minded people within the same room can lead to great conversations. In turn, allowing brainstorming and creativity to happen. You can learn about new trends, keep up to date with new things happening in the city or even learn about what is going in in the business world.
A lot of my creativity comes from meeting like-minded female entrepreneurs through the events we organize and also through material posted in our Facebook group.
The best way I would say that’s helped me fuel my creativity though is through hosting our monthly work jams. Every month, we gather 10 Montreal boss babes into one room. We network, verbalize our goals, keep each other accountable and get productive with 2 hrs of non-interrupted focus with two breaks. The most valuable part is the last hour where we brainstorm and partake in engaging discussions to help each other overcome any challenges, give feedback as well as tips.
This is the time when my creativity gets exercised and is at its peak level. So many ideas come from these brainstorming discussions and I can’t rave enough about how they’ve helped us to serve our Montreal boss babe community better!
6. It’s a great way to establish your credibility.
Share your influence.
Be on top of mind by leaving a positive reputation.
Establish yourself as one of the leaders in your field and build a network that recommends you.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll be on your way to building your own group of ambassadors — basically.
I said this earlier but I’ll say it again for emphasis. Once you know who you want to serve, can prove that you know your stuff and can leave a lasting and positive impression on someone, you become top of mind to them as the person who does X.
I’ve honestly gotten tons of referrals through networking events simply by following my one rule of thumb: always deliver value to everyone you meet.
This has worked especially well for me because I was always able to make people feel good about themselves in some way or another. Meaning I was able to inspire them, infect them with my positivity, make them feel happy or give them useful advice of some sort. Because of this lasting impression I’m able to leave on them, most of the time they end up reaching out to me every time they need a website, digital marketing services or want to become a potential collaborator.
Not only will you be growing your professional network but you’ll also be growing your personal network. Most of my closest friends today are like-minded people I’ve met through social media and networking events!
Now that you’re fully aware of the reason why networking is so crucial to your personal and business development, it’s time to take advantage of this opportunity to go out there and meet new people!