Seven reasons why networking should be in your marketing plan
Your marketing plan is likely to have a range of marketing tools and each one will depend very much on the nature of your business and the audience you are trying to reach. However, one tool that we think you should utilise is networking.
Networking is essential to building your business and has grown in popularity since the pandemic when meeting face-to-face meetings have not been possible.
It’s important to find a few groups that are right for you rather than attending every event going, this way you can be sure that you will be able to regularly attend meetings. This is crucial to getting to know the other businesses and forming relationships with them. It can take time to start gaining (and giving referrals) as trust needs to build with those in the room, so don’t just go to one meeting and expect lots of business to land in your lap the next day!
Here are our seven top reasons for networking:
1. It will help you to build relationships
people buy from those they know, like and trust so getting to know others will help you to gain and refer new business.
2. You will learn new skills
Other members may provide training that you can sign up for and learn from. Exchanging skills with others will not only help you make new contacts but also add value to your business.
3. It will raise your business profile
Some groups allow their members to provide a short talk in their area of expertise. If you can do this, it’s a great opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and promote your business.
4. Help you form collaborations
You may find businesses that compliment your work by offering a service that you don’t but that will be useful to your clients. Referrals can be used here to help each other out.
5. Perfect your pitch
You will have the opportunity to practice your pitch (elevator speech). Try and create a 60sec speech that demonstrates how you can help those you are networking with. Doing this over and over gives you the chance to fine-tune your words and grow your confidence.
6. Recruit new staff
If you’re looking to expand your business, then networking can be a great way of recruiting. You’ll have built up relationships within your networking group so it’s a good place to start when looking for new team members.
7. Help you learn
Being in the company of other like-minded business people will motivate and inspire you. It’s also a great opportunity to bounce ideas off each other, gain further knowledge and probably make new friends!
Remember that networking is two-way, it can help you gain business, but you should also think about how you can help others. If you get it right, it helps to develop rewarding and long-lasting business relationships.