Networking is key to both personal and professional growth and can help you succeed in the world of business.
There are countless different networking opportunities, whether you prefer to network online or in person. You may have heard of LinkedIn, but have you heard of mastermind groups or netwalking?
More and more people are focusing on networking, but why? What is networking? And who exactly is networking for?
Read on to learn more about networking, including what it is, who it’s for, and how you can start networking.
What Is Networking?
When you think of networking, your mind might conjure up images of business cards and conferences. However, this isn’t the whole picture – networking is all about building relationships.
Networking can be conducted anywhere and can have a laid-back approach or a formal approach. In 2024, many people choose to network online, but there are many in-person networking groups and opportunities available.
You can network with professionals, potential clients, and colleagues alike over drinks, coffee, dinner, or even from the comfort of your own home using your laptop or mobile phone.
Interacting with others over online platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Zoom can be a great way to network, but we’ll talk more about the different platforms in the ‘Where Do I Start’ section of this post.
There are countless benefits to networking – it enables you to build connections with people that can help you with your business, exchange ideas with, do business with you, or simply discuss the industry with.
Who Is Networking For?
Networking can be conducted by anybody and with anybody. Usually, when you network with people on a professional level, it’s because you can benefit from it. Whether this by exchanging ideas, giving and receiving advice, or simply making connections and getting your name known.
If you’re looking for a job or want to take the next step in your career, your chances of succeeding are sure to be higher if you have a network of connections.
Once you make meaningful connections with others, their network essentially becomes your network. This means that if you ask people in your network if they know of any job openings, they could ask around, increasing your chances of finding the perfect role for you.
Networking can also help you to move up in your business. If you have a healthy relationship with your colleagues and superiors and offer help and advice when needed, then your name is more likely to come to mind when it’s time for a promotion.
If you have a company in mind that you’d love to work for, connecting with employees from that business on LinkedIn can bring you one step forward towards your dream role. Networking helps you be seen and heard, which is beneficial when you’re job hunting.
Networking can be extremely beneficial if you’re a business owner, regardless of whether you’ve just started up or you’ve owned a business for years. It’s never too late to start networking, but the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits.
Attending networking groups and connecting with others on networking platforms can help your business in a variety of ways. You can receive quality advice, share and receive information, get your business recognised, and even land potential clients through networking.
If you have any questions, it’s good to have a network to fall back on to ask for help. However, networking works both ways – and if you’re on hand to answer questions and offer advice to others, you’re sure to receive the same.
People Who Want To Succeed
Networking can be great in terms of improving your confidence. By putting yourself out there and making connections, you’re essentially stepping out of your comfort zone, which is an important step to becoming a better version of yourself.
It can also help you to improve your social skills, which is invaluable in any industry. The more time you spend networking, the more you’ll grow as a person (and a business).
Whether you’re happy in your role or you’re looking for a new role, networking is something that you should be doing. Networking can help you learn new skills that can help you perform better at work – having a network on hand to ask questions and receive advice can be invaluable.
Where Do I Start?
Networking isn’t as difficult as you might think – it can be as simple as meeting a friend for coffee or creating a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a great way to start growing your network – it takes less than ten minutes to create your profile, and you can start making connections instantly.
You can find people from all industries from all around the globe on this platform, with almost 800 million users from over 200 countries.
LinkedIn allows you to disclose your work history and whether you’re looking for a job, and similar to Facebook, you can post and engage with other users’ posts. However, LinkedIn has a more professional feel to it than Facebook and other social media platforms.
Another great way to start is by attending networking groups – for example, mastermind groups and personal development groups. MOVE host regular networking events and groups that are perfect for building meaningful business connections and personal development.
Attending online video networking groups can connect you with a variety of individuals from all kinds of industries. Attending online meetings also allows you to network from the comfort of your own home, and you won’t have to worry about childcare or transport.
Our Netwalking Group is also a great option for in-person networking. It enables you to network and walk at the same time, which can take the awkwardness out of face-to-face meetings. Netwalking sessions are great for your physical and mental health too – going out for a stroll and communicating with like-minded individuals can do you the world of good both personally and professionally.
Click here for our top 10 networking tips!
Mark is a multi-award winner in business networking and relationship building. He is passionate about coaching and mentoring business owners and professionals through 1-1 & group coaching, team performance workshops and group mastermind sessions.