The majority of entrepreneurs that succeed have one thing in common: networking. They forge meaningful relationships that help them develop a fast and sustainable path for business growth.
If you want to achieve the same, then read on.
This article will explain the benefits of growing your network and the different tactics that you, as an entrepreneur, can use to network with others.
The Benefits to Growing Your Network
At its core, networking is all about building relationships. When you network, your main goal is to get people to know and trust you so they want to do business with you.
You can leverage the professional and personal connections you forge to propel your business towards phenomenal success.
Here are some more benefits entrepreneurs get when growing their networks:
- Better Opportunities: The main advantage of entrepreneurship networking is that it opens you up to a whole new world of opportunities in business that you otherwise may not have had access to.
- Shared Knowledge: Networking builds your knowledge power by allowing you to learn and get advice from like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners.
- Increased Connections: Who you know matters a lot in business, and networking allows you to make more connections to help fuel your business’s success.
- Growing Confidence: When you regularly participate in entrepreneurship networking, you push yourself to engage with a lot of people you don't know which helps to boost your confidence
- Profile Visibility: Another rewarding benefit of networking is the increase in visibility and getting noticed by more people, which ultimately results in more leads and referrals.
Ways to Grow Your Network
There are many activities that can be considered networking. Below, I’ve listed 5 of the most effective ideas for entrepreneurship networking. Use any or all of them to start growing your network right now.
1. Engage on Social Media
LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms are perfect for building your network. They make it easy and convenient for you to engage your network and share meaningful and relevant content with your audience.
A great tip to help you connect with other entrepreneurs is to find relevant groups where you can provide helpful content.
This tip works particularly well because you not only engage with your connections but also their networks as well, which grows your reach exponentially.
2. Attend Live Events
Another effective way for growing your network is by attending live events. Make sure you always show up prepared so you can make the most of your time there.
Here are some tips on how you can do that:
- Show up with a goal to make a certain number of connections
- Don't spend too much time with people you know
- Carry your business cards everywhere
- Perfect your elevator speech
- Offer to be a helpful resource but don't ask for anything in return (reciprocity is powerful!)
3. Showcase Your Achievements Digitally
Being able to showcase your achievements and competencies digitally, whether through your website, social media, etc., is a powerful way to help you build your network.
An online personal brand is an authentic way to share your entrepreneurial story, and when done right, your digital credentials will do most of the work for you to convince other entrepreneurs and business owners that you are someone worth knowing.
Plus, once you have a name for yourself, you can share your knowledge by choosing an online course platform to build and sell your own online courses. Once they’ve been built, you can take it a step further and offer them to large companies through course licensing agreements, which can be quite lucrative in its own right.
Here are some things to consider when building your personal brand:
- Build a consistent narrative across social media, personal brand websites, etc.
- Tell an up-to-date story
- Invest in a professional headshot
- Leverage the best personal brand websites to upload rich content, such as Behance.net, About.me, LinkedIn, and Slideshare.
- Claim your name (domain name, social media handles, etc.)
4. Be Willing to Speak for Free
Being willing to speak for free can provide a lot of benefits when it comes to growing your network. It can establish you as an authority or thought leader in your space, which can grow your followers, as well as a professional network, exponentially.
Here are some places where you can speak for free:
- At live events
- As a guest on podcasts
- As a guest on YouTube shows
You can also offer to do guest blogs. Furthermore, you can invite other entrepreneurs to your own platforms where you can interview them like in these business blog examples.
5. Participate in Your Local Business Community
Your local small business community is a perfect place to connect with other entrepreneurs. Participating in your local business community can help grow your network, as well as help establish support for your business locally.
Attend all relevant expos and conferences, participate in advisory committees, and whatever else that will help you get yourself out there.
If you can't find any events that are up your alley within your own community, you can create your own networking events.
And there you have it. 5 ideas for entrepreneurship networking that you can implement today to start enjoying the many benefits that come with growing your network.
What other ideas for entrepreneurship networking can you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Ron Stefanski is an online entrepreneur and college professor who helps people create and grow their own online businesses. He’s built a portfolio of websites that reaches millions of people yearly and continues to grow. Learn more about Ron by visiting OneHourProfessor.com.