The importance of networking

Posted under PR, Social Media

We’ve been discussing viral marketing and how businesses can remain relevant in the current market, and one of the most effective methods is through networking.

Networking can seem scary at first, especially if you go on your own. Attending your first session with a colleague can help put your nerves at ease and make introductions easier. Don’t forget to chat to other attendees too!

Networking Meeting

 

What events are worth your time?

It can be hard to work out which events are worth your time, and if they will always be valuable. Meeting individuals from your industry might be an interesting exercise, but going out of your comfort zone and meeting professionals from a different sector could open new doors, and bring on new opportunities.

Searching for groups can be easy, online or through colleagues.

  • The Chamber of Commerce. With over 52 chambers across the UK, the Chamber of Commerce is a great place to network with like-minded businesses and professionals. Joining this type of network might incur a membership cost, but there is usually a lot to benefit from a connection to this group. We’re based in Peterborough so we’re linked to the Cambridgeshire Charter, and have been a member for over 8 years.
  • Linkedin. Great at connecting with colleagues, but also a great place to source local networking events. Industry groups regularly share information about events and networking possibilities so keep an eye out on your timeline.
  • Meet Up. This website can help you segment by sector and location, making it really easy to find local networking events which are relevant to you. You could also hold your own event and promote it through the website, if there isn’t anything relevant to you.
  • Connect with your suppliers. You might already have some great connections, but they could lead you on to something greater. Connect with them on Linkedin, or simply having a meeting could lead to a great networking opportunity.

 

Networking

How could networking help you?

Networking is great for finding potential customers or suppliers, but it’s also great for skills sharing. Meeting connections at events could help you find a great resource for training, or even help you pair up to win new work together.

Having these connections to hand could also help you become more competitive. Freelancers or new start-ups may not have the reams of connections to hand that older, more established businesses might have. Attending networking events, and meeting other professionals, can help enhance your knowledge, as well as increase your chances of winning new business.

Don’t stop there though…

Once you’ve attended a few networking sessions, and met some great contacts it shouldn’t end there.

Networking is a continuous process, and continuing to attend relevant events can help put you in touch with great suppliers, and new business contacts. It’s also worth joining different groups too, so keep an eye out for information about new events popping up in your area. Travelling to a different city could also open up new opportunities, or networking after a conference or event could help you connect with like-minded individuals.

 

Searching for help with your marketing, or just want to pick our brains? Get in touch!

Alice Brazier

Alice gained her experience as an account executive with a PR and marketing agency before taking on the role of marketing co-ordinator for a specialist education web development company. She has extensive experience running on and offline campaigns, event management and digital marketing.