This is a guest post by Stu, the All Around Guy of Phil.Exeq Search. He’s a career manager, marketing maven, wanderlust, shutterbug and a frustrated film maker (for now).
The concept of networking has been abuzz for years. With many who claim to be part of one try to gather as much people to join them or are promoting the idea of one in various platforms and streams.
For many people, the word “networking” has given off a disagreeable, negative image of shady people inside a banquet hall who are thinking and discussing ways on how they can grow richer and richer with very little time, money, and effort invested in doing so, unlike the common working man. It can also invoke imaginary scenarios of being invited to a business that promised you that your small amount of money can grow exponentially in a short frame of time.
To clear up one of the biggest myths that has surrounded networking, it is not synonymous with multi-level marketing. Which is what the above descriptions really talk about, and what many people think of when someone mentions the word “networking”.
This wrongful connection between the two concepts have made it hard for networkers to cultivate their networks and discourages potential networks into connecting with them, which can be a huge loss for both parties.
Like how its name actually suggests, networking is about connections and relationships that are mutually beneficial.
Successful marketing is about getting to know the entities in your industry and any other industries that affect yours who can help you develop your career, business, or even your personal community.
It is about meeting people who can help you find potential candidates for your business, new investors for your company or startup, clients for your products and services, and even individuals who can help increase awareness for the issues, matters, and standpoints that your business believes in, cares about, and represents.
Aside from these, networking also helps you stay visible.
With regular meeting and communicating with potential clients, business partners, investors, etc. to establish and maintain business relationships, you are able to raise your personal profile and help keep you in the minds of the right people frequently.
It also helps you stay on top of your game and be more aware of the current happenings both in your industry and any industries that affect yours, as connections often share information with each other within their network as well as attending seminars.
There are several steps to get good at networking, and they don’t involve chatting in a coffee shop and enticing people into deals that they won’t be too aware of just for the express purpose of raising more money.
Here they are presented in an infographic:
And here are the key takeaways from Phil.Exeq’s infographic on “Networking: What it Really Is and How to be Good at It”:
- Work on your mindset.
Find a role model who networks effectively, observe their style so you can implement the same to your routine
- If you want to connect with someone, find a way to help them.
Even C-level executives have their own desires and concerns, which you can only find out if you have a genuine interest in helping them.
- Look beyond the obvious.
Don’t limit your networking preparation to new contacts in your industry.
- Understand what you offer.
It will be easier for you to engage in networking relationships if you are at-the-ready with how you can help.
- Stay committed to it.
Be persistent in pursuing potential contacts who you think can really help you manage your career, and be flexible enough to shift your approach when what you’re using isn’t working.
While networking is not an easy task to do (and contrary to popular belief, it takes quite a bit of effort), it will surely help you be a part of a community and build your connections. What action will you take about it today?