10 top tips for networking
- Set clear goals
- Be authentic
- Listen actively
- Be proactive
- Be prepared
- Follow up
- Give before you receive
- Use social media strategically
- Build and maintain relationships
- Be respectful of others’ time and boundaries
Why is business networking important?
At Let’s Grow, we’re passionate about business networking. We have set up and run a very successful chapter of BNI, we attend numerous networking events both online and in person and run a local networking group called Tarporley Business Club.
In our view networking is crucial for small businesses as it provides opportunities for growth, relationship-building, knowledge sharing, brand building, access to resources, and a support system. By actively networking, small businesses can establish a strong professional network that can contribute to their success in the long run.
As such an important catalyst for growing a small business, we wanted to share our 10 top tips for networking.
Networking is the No.1 unwritten rule of success in business.
1. Set clear goals
Know what you want to achieve through networking. Whether it’s finding a job, building professional relationships, or gaining industry insights, having clear goals will help you focus your efforts and be more effective.
2. Be authentic
Authenticity is key in networking. Be genuine, show interest in others, and be yourself. Authenticity builds trust and helps establish meaningful connections.
3. Listen actively
Pay attention to what others are saying and show genuine interest in their stories and experiences. Ask questions and listen actively to understand their perspectives. This shows respect and builds rapport.
4. Be proactive
Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Take the initiative to reach out to others, attend networking events, and join relevant professional groups or associations. Be proactive in expanding your network and creating opportunities.
5. Be prepared
Have a clear and concise elevator pitch about yourself and what you do. Bring business cards or have a digital version ready. Research the event or the people you’ll be networking with to have relevant talking points.
6. Follow up
After networking events, follow up with the people you met. Send personalized messages expressing your interest in continuing the conversation or connecting further. This helps to maintain the momentum and deepen the relationship.
7. Give before you receive
Networking is not just about what you can get, but also what you can give. Offer help, support, or resources to others without expecting anything in return. Building a reputation as a helpful and supportive networker can be beneficial in the long run.
8. Use social media strategically
Leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to connect with professionals in your field, join relevant groups, and share industry-related content. Social media can be a powerful tool for expanding your network and establishing your professional brand.
9. Build and maintain relationships
Networking is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process. Build and maintain relationships with your contacts by keeping in touch, offering value, and staying connected even when you don’t need anything immediately. Nurture your network and cultivate long-term relationships.
10. Be respectful of others’ time and boundaries
Networking should be a mutually beneficial exchange, so be respectful of others’ time and boundaries. Don’t be pushy, overly aggressive, or invasive. Respect others’ preferences for communication and follow-up frequency.
We exist to give small businesses grow. If you’re looking for help with your growth strategy get in touch to book a FREE consultation.