One of the most effective ways to open doors to business opportunities is by practicing professional networking. Professional networks help you meet your prospective client and get ahead of others in your field. It also gives you better access to career development resources. If you are the type of person who likes to build professional networking, you must be at the brink of fantastic career opportunities most of the time.
But to truly benefit from the value of professional networking, you need to have the right skills and knowledge. This article will give you professional networking tips, and discuss the importance of professional networking.
Importance of Professional Networking
There are many benefits of professional networking. They apply not only to your career but also to your business. Entrepreneurs who build professional networking skills at the early stages of their business can kickstart their initiative faster than those who don’t. If you are interested in growing your company or getting career advancement opportunities, you should also consider practicing this skill.
According to the statistics on professional networking, people can greatly increase their chances of getting a new job offer through networking. In fact, around 85% of most positions’ job positions are filled as the outcome of networking.
An extensive professional network can give you access and exposure to job openings that cannot be found on the internet or in newspapers. When you discuss your career with the people in your network, they might refer you to somebody looking to hire a person with the kind of skills you have. Professional networking gives you chances to mention your experience and expertise. Being vocal about your skills can lead you to exciting career opportunities, which would otherwise be unknown and inaccessible to you.
Networking can give you great benefits in terms of lead generation when it comes to business. Quality leads come from meaningful conversations that you can only have if you are active in your network. You need to click with the people you hang out with to get their attention towards your products or services. Small business owners can utilize their professional networking skills to gain more contacts. This is because they are always on the ground to promote their business and make more sales.
As a business grows, the owner gets more distant from the general crowd. This is when his previously established professional network can become a real support system for growing his customer base. People usually like to do business with those whom they trust. The longer someone has known you, the easier it is for them to have faith in you. Maintaining good and healthy relationships with people in your professional network is thus quite critical to the growth of your business.
Sometimes you happen to meet people who are willing to offer help by introducing you to more contacts. Some people might also go out of their way to help you with their professional and personal expertise. These types of people are assets that enhance the value of professional networking. If you submit your business proposals modestly, follow up on your leads, and value the time of the other party, you’ll be able to enjoy the actual benefits of professional networking.
Another value of professional networking is its ability to introduce you to the latest technologies, which allows you to stay updated with the key industry trends. When you build professional networking circles, you get access to much inside information about your clients and their companies, which is otherwise hard to get in the modern world. People are more likely to share industry tips in a friendly professional networking gathering than in an official corporate event organized by the firm. These tips can help you stay ahead of the competition by suggesting creative ways of doing your work.
4 Effective Professional Networking Tips
Here are a few effective professional networking tips for applying to your daily work routines.
1. Contact the People You Already Know
Before getting to know complete strangers, reach out to your existing friends, colleagues, former bosses, and social media connections for professional networking. You might come across some good job opportunities or market penetration ideas through them or get introduced to new people in the industry.
Be involved in tools and gatherings that give you more chances of meeting up and connecting with the people you know. Go to coffee meetups, make phone and video calls, write emails, engage in handwritten letters, attend social gatherings, and look for more such activities. These activities can have a good impact on nurturing your existing professional relationships.
2. Craft an Elevator Speech
An elevator speech is a brief and interesting introduction to your professional position. It is a good tactic to use for effective professional networking. During a quick and friendly conversation, it describes your skills, expertise, experience, and accomplishments to others. It is usually shorter than 60 seconds. If you have a well-crafted elevator speech in mind, it will be easier for you to connect with new people when you attend social gatherings.
To craft an effective elevator speech, you first need to know your key skills and what you are interested in to sell to others. If you are passionate about the business you do, you can begin by flaunting the quality of the products or services you offer. You can also choose a different approach and simply explain to people what you do for a living.
It is good to include your educational qualifications in your elevator speech in most cases, although that’s not necessary. You can mention any relevant facts about your profession and business that you feel excited about in your speech. Talk about your areas of interest and the type of business opportunities that interest you the most.
3. Keep Searching
Whether you are looking to make friends with your business partners or mingling at a party in the neighborhood, try to make full use of your conversations with people. Have discussions on topics that interest you. Learn to see things from the other person’s perspective. Connect with people in both casual and formal environments. See who you can click with the most, and follow up with them later to stay in contact. Keep looking for more and more people to connect with, especially those working in the same sector as yours and who have similar passions. The more you enjoy your professional networking sessions, the more beneficial they will be for you.
4. Establish a Professional Network Online
Building an online community and inviting everyone in your professional network to join is a fabulous way of engaging with each other. Members of the community can regularly share ideas, opinions, passions, and experiences. You can further enhance your professional networking skills by actively participating in the community.
Know that creating an online community is just the beginning, though. You need to work on it for months to grow it and make it more constructive. Whether you build your community as a Facebook group or on some other platform, make sure you integrate it with your corporate website.
The value of having a professional website to represent your business is often underrated. In the digital world we are living in today, a website serves as a one-stop platform for people to get information about your business on the internet. If your business does not have a website, it is almost as if it does not exist. A website is even more important than having an office for your company. The ongoing pandemic has further increased the importance of having a solid online presence for your brand. As you build professional networking cycles, make sure you introduce your website to everyone you meet.
Suppose you create your brand website on Strikingly. It is easy for you to integrate it with your online community, your social media pages, and any other platforms that you use to market your products and services. In the process of professional networking, you can simply give out your website URL to those with whom you connect instead of giving out the old-fashioned business cards.
Image taken from Strikingly
The tools and features of Strikingly are suitable for creating different types of websites. Whether you need a blog to post articles on topics related to your pertinent industry, or an eCommerce site whereby you can sell your products online, we have a template that conveniently serves your purpose.
Simply select one of the available templates, and get started with building your new website on Strikingly. Enjoy creating your web pages on our user-friendly editor, which comes with a drag and drop interface to facilitate you in uploading your text and images. We love to see all the beautiful websites our users create on our platform.