How do you leverage networking in your business?
To help you find ways to leverage networking for your business, we asked business leaders and CEOs this question for their best insights. From generating quality leads to supporting each other’s marketing efforts, there are several insights that may help you leverage networking to grow your business.
Here are 10 ways to leverage networking in your business:
- Generate Quality Leads
- Find Trusted Investors
- Ask for Help and Feedback
- Connect With Experts and Consumers
- Link With Support Groups for Growth
- Target Sources of Future Opportunities
- Create a Referral System
- Identify and Connect With Potential Mentors
- Allow Other Businesses To Know You
- Support Each Other’s Marketing Efforts
Generate Quality Leads
I use business networking to create a source of high quality referrals. Business networking is an excellent way to build your own business brand, referral and client network. Earning the confidence of peers in your sector might result in significant recommendations for your business. People trust people, and if you network with other experts in your field and establish yourself as a trustworthy business, your peers will naturally refer their consumers to you.
Hector Ruiz, BBQ Grill Academy
Find Trusted Investors
Finding valued and trusted investors is one of the smartest ways to leverage networking for your business, regardless of industry. If you can focus your networking efforts on establishing new and consistent investors, then networking has the potential to be the difference between your business taking off or stagnating, as investors are often essential to growth and traction. In this case, you’ll want to attend industry-specific events, industry networking events, and utilize your social channels to effectively connect with folks who may be inspired enough by your plans and dreams to help you achieve them. Should you succeed in connecting with these individuals, you may find that your business achieves success faster than you ever imagined possible.
Reece Kresser, Zizi
Ask for Help and Feedback
I leverage my professional network by reaching out to other professionals when I need help, advice, or feedback. Your network is a melting pot of individuals from all walks of life, each with different skills, disciplines, and levels of experience. Rather than figuring everything out myself, I like to lean on this network when I need a helping hand.
Whether you want project feedback, coaching recommendations, or advice for a critical business decision, it's best to consult those who've seen it all before. People with relevant, real-world experience can help you avoid the mistakes that they once made, carrying you through the turbulence you may face as an entrepreneur or business owner. This is a level of wisdom and perspective that you just can't find anywhere else, and leveraging it can guide you onto the path of success.
Patrick Casey, Felix
Connect With Experts and Consumers
Clubhouse is a great way to connect with industry experts and create a personal relationship with consumers. Users can participate with leaders in a niche industry and connect on a variety of topics. In-person conferences and events are evolving after the pandemic, and Clubhouse allows people to virtually “attend” what would be an in-person event over social media. They can develop ideas, build friendships, and interact with leaders from the comfort of their own home. Businesses who can give their expertise establish credibility with consumers, which results in a larger following on the app and other social media platforms. Using new social media apps versus the popular networks is a different experience, however, using it to your advantage will grow brand awareness and drive revenue to your site.
Sara Adam Slywka, Nestig
Link With Support Groups for Growth
If you're a business owner and you're looking for networking opportunities, you don't need to go much further than your desk to do that. One of the greatest places to find people in your industry and connect is via Facebook groups. There is probably a Facebook group out there for your business niche, whether you're a hostel owner or dog food manufacturer or a blogger, like me. These Facebook groups are not only a way to find people in your industry, but they act as a community where you can ask questions, learn from other business owners and make partnerships. When networking online like this, it's important that you don't see other businesses as your competition; there is plenty of fish in the sea, as they say. Instead, see it as an opportunity to connect with people who can help you grow. If you offer some of your insight to someone, then when it is your turn to ask questions, other people will help you. These online communities are great for helping each other's businesses to grow.
louisa smith, Epic Book Society
Target Sources of Future Opportunities
Building a strong network means recognizing everyone has the potential to add value – you never know who someone else might know! To do this, I use LinkedIn to connect with every new contact I make. This might be someone who emails me asking to guest post on my website, sales reps that have reached out to me trying to sell me a product or service, even parents I meet at my son's baseball games. I add them to my LinkedIn network, send a quick personalized message, and share that I'm interested in us helping each other, even if I don't know what “help” looks like at the moment.
The more people I have in my network, the more personal connections I have to engage with when they post content. I will like, share, or comment on their content as a way to stay top of mind, and they often do the same for me. Those connections become more valuable over time as new needs or opportunities arise.
Alli Hill, FreelanceSpeak
Create a Referral System
A referral should never be a happy accident. The best way to leverage networking in your business is to have a systematized process. Start by crafting a LinkedIn summary that speaks directly to your target audience. Be sure your summary includes: A short description of the outcomes you deliver, a specific visual example of your ideal customer, and things your ideal customer would say that should make me think of you.
Segment (or tag) connections as insiders (friends), partners, or influencers. Use a relationship based CRM (Like Nimble) where you store your networking connections. Stay in touch with those connections regularly (weekly, monthly, quarterly) to review how you can help each other and to set up introductions to new connections. Have at least 10 conversations and connections daily.
Ivana Taylor, DIYMarketers
Identify and Connect With Potential Mentors
One way to leverage networking in your business is to identify and connect with potential mentors. A mentor can provide guidance, support, and advice as you work to grow your business. Additionally, networking can help you build relationships with other professionals who may be able to refer clients or offer other opportunities for growth. By strengthening your network, you'll create a valuable resource of people who can help your business succeed.
Asako Ito, DivineLashes
Allow Other Businesses To Know You
One of the most important strategies that I leverage in my business is networking. It's not just about who you know, but also who knows you. By reaching out and connecting with other businesses in various industries, I am able to build lasting relationships that can help me grow my business and pay compounding dividends over time. By helping each other and reciprocity, networking helps me to build credibility and visibility within my industry, as well as find potential new clients or opportunities for collaboration.
Additionally, networking allows me to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in my field, which keeps me ahead of the competition in a highly competitive marketplace. Whether by attending events or simply connecting online through social media platforms, networking has been instrumental in helping me to succeed and drive growth in my business.
Chad Rubin, Profasee
Support Each Other’s Marketing Efforts
I am constantly looking for new ways to reach a wider audience. To this end, over the past year or so I’ve invested in developing my network of fellow marketing executives and influencers. My goal is to find mutually beneficial ways of supporting each other's outreach efforts. One example of this is posting guest blog posts on our respective blogs, or sharing each other’s content on our social media. I’ve always been a proponent of mutually beneficial networking, as it’s usually quite apparent when someone networks only for their own personal interests
Andreyana Kulina, Saris-UK Ltd.