More recently, technology has become more popular than ever with 92% of adults nowadays (in the UK) using the internet regularly. Due to online meetings being on a multitude of different platforms, it is now simple and effective to schedule meetings through them with a set time and subject.
But, why do you need to network (the importance of networking) and why are more people turning towards the internet for their networking events? In this blog, we will run through these questions so you have better knowledge and understanding of how you can use this to your benefit!
Why is Networking Important?
Whether you are business networking or just networking for self/ personal development reasons, networking as a whole always brings similar benefits to the table. For starters, you will always have access and communication with the highest-status people in your niche. If you’re confident in your ability to speak to these people too – you may end up building a long-lasting business relationship (or even friendship) with this person or people.
Or, if you’re looking to venture into a new field, you will notice that there are often people willing to help you achieve your goals or the knowledge that you desire to acquire. No matter whether it’s singular entrepreneurs, small businesses or established businesses – it is probable to become a well-known person within the industry and learn more than you ever thought possible.
At these networking events (virtual networking or in-person networking), if you’re known by these powerful people – you’re more likely to hear about exciting and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to either take you further in your current career or future preferences.
For example, if you’re in the fitness industry – you may hear about a new personal trainer job offer from one of the mentors which could truly change your life! As far as online networking though, why is this becoming so popular if the benefits are almost identical in structure?
Why are People Choosing Online Networking?
Even though there are still in-person networking events occurring around the world on a regular basis – they are becoming a little less common across businesses discovering the power of social media.
In the past, at the beginning of social media becoming extremely well-known – these industries using it would have their own message boards that they could use to exchange or give out knowledge to attendees. But, this is all there was at the time.
Whereas, nowadays, online networking or online business networking – with multiple platforms has endless tips and tricks to connect. These consist of DM’s (direct messages), comments, likes, etc. Especially with platforms such as LinkedIn which are specifically designed for business owners or employees to connect – it makes it much easier to interact with people from your phone, laptop or any other device.
With the pandemic startling the world, many business events had to be transferred to a social media app (which then became an online networking platform for every company). Now that we’re beginning to see a more normal return to life and see people in real life a lot more often – the benefits of online networking and each function is becoming more and more in favour.
Will traditional networking ever make a serious return and will people get sick of using social media platforms to connect? Or will online networking continue to be the leader of networking in all its glory? I guess we’ll never know if social media will become unpopular – but for now, social media is still growing at a heavy rate, so taking advantage of that is crucial!
Benefits of Online Networking
Even though social media networking only became seriously favoured during the pandemic, the majority of the public has seen some serious benefits from using these spaces for niche education. Here are some of the advantages that we have seen from online networking events or courses:
For every hour you’ve ever spent travelling to these networking events, whether they be national or even international they will always take time out of your day. However, with online events – you will be able to meet the exact same people, but not travel to places like London, a different county or even a different country in hindsight.
No longer will you be stressing about getting on a certain train, looking perfect for the day or childcare for school. Now, you can sit in from the comfort of your own home or office for each scheduled meeting.
In addition to the previously mentioned benefit, you will also save hundreds or thousands of pounds each year (if you attend networking meetings regularly). In-person meetings will often bring expenses with them such as taxi fairs, food and drink, travelling, etc.
However, when networking online or looking through the online course – you won’t need to pay for any of these expenses. The only expense that may occur is for the actual course or networking event itself and your laptop or phone bill (which you were most likely paying anyway).
Not as Intimidating
Especially when you’re attending a new networking event in person – you are most likely going to be nervous about your appearance, your domina, the way you come across and many other features about yourself. Entering that room filled with people you’ve never met before can certainly set off unlimited amounts of butterflies and then walking over to a person you’ve never seen before to introduce yourself will not occur online.
With online networking, it is a lot more chilled with people having a set amount of time to speak and introduce themselves without worrying about having to force themselves into a conversation. Each dynamic can be dissimilar – as body language, eye contact and dress sense do not come into play when meeting online.
If you feel like you want to begin your networking journey, whether you’re comfortable enough to do it in-person or would rather online networking – click here to find out more information about how you can get into a space filled with like-minded individuals.
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.