What is Networking and Why is Important?

What is Networking
What is Networking

For professionals who are dedicated to promoting this type of activity, networking between entrepreneurs consists of “building a good network of contacts.”

To achieve this objective, those interested in expanding their agenda must attend organized events and activities so that attendees can find job opportunities.

It is about establishing personal relationships and interacting with people from like-minded professional backgrounds. It is not only reduced to looking for job opportunities and therefore entrepreneurs, but there are also many companies that attend this type of event to find talent or, why not?, To expand their market network.

Although success in this type of meeting is not guaranteed, it is highly valued that you are the one who is selling yourself to others. Therefore, the best thing is to have studied and know very well what you want to convey to others about your professionalism and about yourself.

In the times in which we find ourselves, collaboration and mutual help between all can make a difference.

In today’s world of work there are certain terms originating from foreign languages, which we gradually adopted until they became something that is part of our professional routine.

One of those words is the famous “Networking”, surely you have heard it many times, preferably at events, work activities that always involve more people. Surely you have already done enough networking without knowing the name of the concept.

The word networking originates from the union of Net, which means network, and working, which means working. Networking is, then, that social-professional circle that can offer you several opportunities for growth and reference with your company or your business if you are an entrepreneur. Networking is taking advantage of a specific space and time to meet people who can contribute to your learning in your working life.

Surely you have already perceived the difference that having good contacts, meeting entrepreneurs, people who work in a field similar to yours who can help you with ideas, or even close an alliance or business.

Evolution and origin of networking

This new model of social negotiation is not new.

It can even be related to the beginnings of direct sales, as is the case with the cosmetics firm AVON, born in 1906 and which was a pioneer in this commercial modality.

However, networking is more focused on selling yourself to someone who may be interested, in one way or another, your skills, professional values, etc. In this sense, its origins may be related to simple professional social relationships, something that has always existed, without any name being given.

We say this because it is not new to anyone that many of the important, and not so important, businesses in history have been closed eating or drinking coffee in a restaurant.

What is true is that today it has become an entrepreneurial movement that is growing increasingly and that it seems it will not be left alone there.

Types of Networking

Depending on the way we do, there are two types of Networking:

  • Offline Networking: All those face-to-face events where you can meet people related to business and the workplace. For example, cycles of conferences or workshops where, after the presentations, the attendees are spoken to in a more relaxed way.

It is a method that allows you to meet people directly and empathize with them. However, it requires social skills to do it correctly and not miss opportunities.

  • Online Networking: All those methods where connections are established through social networks or applications. For example, in professional social networks like Linkedin, the profile of each user is their resume. Thus, you can see where he works, what he does and what possibilities exist to establish synergies or seek employment or collaborators.

This is a cheaper, faster and more comfortable method with which to reach a larger number of contacts from anywhere in the world. But the connection is made in a cooler way.

Objectives of Networking

Among The objectives of Networking are:

  • Make your product or service known in a more personal way and in a more relaxed atmosphere, which will give you greater visibility and reputation.
  • Create commercial relationships between companies and potential clients, suppliers or strategic allies.
  • Discover new business opportunities among potential partners or investors.
  • Acquire more knowledge about the market environment, competitors, internationalization possibilities, synergies, risks or new opportunities.
  • Get new job alternatives by establishing relationships with headhunters (talent hunters) or company executives who can recommend you.

All this will translate into a mutual benefit for the parties, in more sales or in possible strategic alliances.

Ways to do Networking

There are different ways of Networking, among them are:

  • Work on your personal brand: Have a profile on professional social networks such as Linkedin, actively participating in it. For example, adding new contacts, participating in discussion forums, or sharing news, posts, and comments.
  • Attend related events: Attend conferences, workshops, breakfasts or courses and participate proactively in them. For example, in lectures or forums, talking to new people after the activities and trying to get that exchange of interesting contact cards. The idea is later to get a private meeting.
  • Keep track of contacts: When they write us comments on our publications or private emails, answer everyone and keep those relationships updated. After attending a networking event, it is advisable to contact those who have left us their card. This, to secure that opportunity and move towards the next meeting.
  • Develop social skills: It is important to know how to actively listen to the opinions of others. At the same time, you should share your experiences and points of view, introduce yourself and talk to people who are not from your closest circle. Stepping out of your comfort zone can help you expand your contacts further.

How can Networking help you?

  1. You give visibility to your project in a professional environment where you seek to develop.
  2. You show your project in a suitable work environment and you get investors or partners.
  3. You know better the industry where we develop your project. You face your competitors or discover possible alliances.
  4. Establish conversations with professionals in your same sector and create bonds that can lead to interesting projects in the short, medium, or long term.
  5. Create synergies between companies or with other experts that provide you with new avenues of growth in the labor field that interests you.
  6. Create synergies between companies or with other experts that provide you with new avenues of growth in the labor field that interests you.
  7. You project your career and meet the right people who can help you achieve a better job position.

Tips to take advantage of Networking

  1. Introduce yourself and your project in less than 1 minute. Make it clear who you are, what your specialty is and what you can contribute as a professional.
  2. Write down each contact you make in a schematic way and that helps you remember who each person is. For example: first name, last name, company and title.
    LOOK! Register the contacts on your mobile or computer … and those that you consider most important, on paper. Technologies sometimes play tricks and there are names you can’t lose.
  3. Update contacts you already had. Get closer and make sure that the person you knew continues in the same position and take the opportunity to resume conversations.
  4. Design an original business card that stands out from the rest. When there is little time for presentations, the card will be your way of attracting attention.
  5. If you are going to ask for favors, you have to be willing to do them. Spend time looking for professional ties and also listening to those who have something to tell you.
  6. Movein new professional circles. Take the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and learn about projects similar to yours but to which you do not pay attention on a regular basis.
  7. Before getting to networking, you should have a list of the people you want to contact. They will be your priority. Get organized and don’t leave everything to chance.

Professional Networking is an effective and dynamic way to keep your project alive and nourish yourself with the news provided by similar initiatives and experts who will surely nurture your business with new ideas.