Did you know that once a user has 500 connections, LinkedIn no longer shows the actual number of connections the user has?
However, the number of connections you have isn’t as important as the relationships behind those connections.
Networking is all about building concrete relationships with fellow professionals. It’s more than just “friending” them on social media. But why is networking important exactly?
We’re here to fill you in. Keep reading below to learn why networking is essential for any business owner.
Seeking a Mentor
Networking is a great way to expand your collection of skills. Especially if you’re trying to break into your industry with little experience.
Through networking, you’ll have a better chance of finding a skilled mentor. Websites like LinkedIn make networking to find a mentor easy. You can reach out to experts and highlight your achievements through your profile.
Even if you can’t directly find a mentor, networking can still help you find someone to study and work under.
Building connections opens you up to a world of new people. A new connection may have a former mentor with whom they could put you in touch with. Plus, then you’ll be paired with a personal recommendation.
Why Is Networking Important for Your Reputation?
Networking is key to building your reputation, especially if you’re a fairly unknown business. Marketing is important to building your brand, but networking is just as critical. This is one of the biggest reasons why networking is important for small businesses.
Networking creates connections with well-established professionals. If you cultivate strong relationships with fellow professionals, they’ll be more likely to recommend you to clients and colleagues.
These bonds will also help to solidify your credibility. If you have the backing and recommendation of an industry professional, your business is more validated, even if you’re new to the industry.
It’s also a great way to create a more widespread reputation. It’s critical to make connections across the country or the globe if you plan to expand your brand. You’ll have connections to give you feedback on the local market, as well as connections who can vouch for your services to the local community.
Networking often leads to nothing more than business acquaintances. However, it can also help you form lasting friendships. This may sound like an insignificant result, but it’s incredibly worthwhile.
Having professional friends will keep you engaged and positive about your work. The more you enjoy your work, the easier it will be to get projects done and meet your goals.
It can also help to have a supportive network of professional friends to encourage you when you face obstacles at work. Sure, your family can give you support, but friends built from networking can offer both genuine support and professional advice to work through the roadblocks.
How Can Networking Improve Your Online Presence?
Engagement is key to gaining traction on every social media platform out there. The easiest way to create engagement, of course, is by building a sizeable following. This is one of the reasons why networking is important if you’re just beginning to build your online presence.
Many professionals support each other, especially on websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. With a larger following of fellow professionals, you can support one another by liking, commenting, and sharing each other’s posts.
This will lead to your posts and accounts being supported by the algorithms social media sites use. This, in turn, will lead to more organic growth from potential clients.
Additionally, a following of networking connections will also help solidify your presence as an online guru in your field. By posting and sharing resources, your connections will look to your accounts for industry updates and info.
New online networking connections can also result in new leads. A connection may start as just that—a connection—but if they browse your Instagram page, which links to your business website, you may just land a new client too.
Networking Leads to Business Growth
You may be set on your goals and desires as a business. However, networking can open limitless doors for your business.
So, why is networking important for business growth exactly? Well, everyone has different experiences to bring to the table.
A networking connection may present an opportunity to you that you hadn’t previously considered. These connections and acquaintances can bring new work to the table and suggest new business strategies.
Even if it’s not intentional, making new connections and observing their business methods can inspire new ideas for your own business. It also gives you the chance to collaborate with like-minded individuals and businesses.
Networking connections can also give you opportunities to learn more about your industry. New connections bring your attention to previously unknown resources, like private seminars and trade shows.
How Can Networking Secure Your Future?
Networking is critical for ensuring you always have job opportunities open to you. In fact, around 85% of jobs are filled via networking of some sort.
The more connections you have, the more chances you are to have a referral or recommendation when reaching out to recruiters. These connections can be especially important if you’re expanding into a different field of work.
Networking can also help you get a direct job. If you’ve established a strong relationship with another professional, chances are you’ll get job offers when they’re searching for strong candidates. Your connections will already have a good idea of your ideas and work ethic, which will make you a prime candidate right off the bat.
Building Your Network
Now that you’re no longer wondering “why is networking important?”, you can begin building your own network. You don’t have to connect with everyone. As long as the connections are strong and well-established, you’ll soon realize the benefits of networking.
Need help building your network? Create a profile with Introducing Me to start meeting like-minded professionals!