The Business Case for Networking

ENTREPRENEUR

When it comes to adding value to your business, not all leads are created equal. While all leads are valuable, some leads are more likely to transition from “lead” to something else (like “customer” or “professional collaborator”) than others.

And arguably one of the most valuable leads you can drive for your business? A networking lead.

When you make a personal connection (whether that’s face-to-face or online) with a business contact, you open the door to building a more meaningful business relationship—and those relationships play a huge role in helping you expand your business and take things to the next level.

But what are the ins and outs of effective networking? How can you leverage your efforts to drive qualified leads for your business? And, most importantly, how can you build relationships and transform those leads into more opportunities, customers and revenue for your organization?

get out of the weeds

The Business Case for Networking

Before you jump into networking, it’s important to have a strategy—and to ensure that strategy is aligned with your ultimate business goals.

For example, if your ultimate goal is to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, you would need a different strategy than if you were trying to increase your customer base or build a team to support your new product launch.

There are a few different networking strategies you can use to achieve your business goals, including:

Visibility-driven: Visibility-driven networking is all about getting your name—and your business—out there and in front of the right people to increase visibility and establish yourself as a leader in your industry. This strategy may include things like speaking at industry events or creating content for well-known outlets in your industry.

Lead generation: If your main business goal is customer acquisition and lead generation, you’re going to want to build your networking strategy around connecting with as many new customers as possible. This could mean things like setting up a booth at an event that’s likely to draw customers (e.g., if you’re a healthy beverage company, you might set up a booth at a fitness expo), or hosting a livestream with your social media followers to connect in real-time, forge a personal connection, and answer any questions they have about your products or services.

Team building: If new employees are what you’re after, you’re going to want to network in a way that helps you connect with top talent in your industry (e.g., if you’re looking to hire software engineers to build a new product, you might consider attending a local hackathon or engineering meetup).

Business insights: As a successful business owner, one of the most valuable connections you can make through networking is connecting with other successful business owners. Professional development groups can be a great way to network with other entrepreneurs—and build relationships that can ultimately help you gain insights into the business world, and grow as a business owner.

How to Identify Business Networking Opportunities

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