We’re social beings. You probably know that already, right? But at the same time, you may have misconceptions about sociability in the world of business. You may see the business world as cold, cutthroat, a world in which friends are easily tossed aside for a quick buck. With this view of the business world, you’re going to be running your own business in quite a paranoid way. Everyone else is a competitor, right? So why make friends? Why build bridges? Why place value in trust?
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Networking in business is extremely important. Not only that, but it’s also realistic and attainable. You can build strong relationships, even in the world of capitalistic pursuit. And it’s not only a possible dream. It is, in fact, a necessity if you wish to succeed.
This is because, admittedly, networking isn’t just about making new friends just for the sake of friendship. While that’s important too, there are more selfish business benefits to networking. Without networking, you’re going to be missing a lot of opportunities to do some great business. You may have heard the adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? That applies to business, in a way. The more like-minded and powerful people you know, the further you can take your business. And, people in business will be more willing to share advice and hot business tips than you may think.
So how does one go about networking, exactly? Here are the top two ways to meet people who share your passion. Don’t be afraid to take these on.
Trade shows are a classic way to bring attention to your brand and speak to people similar to yourself. Think about it: you’re in a building filled mostly with fellow business owners. There are likely to be several competitors there. They may even have a display right next to yours!
Don’t let the fact that someone is a competitor stop you from starting a connection. After all, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were good friends! Go find out more about their business and their perspective on things. And hey, if your display is good enough, you’ll probably find lots of businesspeople coming to talk to you anyway! Make sure you’re fully prepared for your trade show by getting the right materials from somewhere like Infinity Exhibits.
Twitter and Facebook aren’t just for teenagers, after all. When it comes to social media in business, people often only talk about their marketing potential. But the main purpose of these platforms is sociability and connection. And as I’ve hopefully made clear to you, this is important for your business!
You can use social media to find like-minded folk in your arena. Follow them. If they’ve written a good Facebook post or Tweet, don’t be afraid to share it with your own followers. Engaging in friendly discussion on Twitter is very easy, especially with the character limitations. And if you see an article online that you feel has helped you, call their attention to it. These small steps create a rapport between the two of you. You can also use your main company Twitter page to communicate with their main company page.