networking for startups

Starting a business or venturing out as an entrepreneur can be an overwhelming endeavour. How are you going to get your business and brand in front of your target audience?

How are you going to find your ideal clients? Where do you even begin with your marketing efforts? Building your network and allowing it to compliment your marketing efforts gives any startup an advantage.

In a world where we have transitioned to Google Ads, SEO and Social Media Marketing it’s important to remember just how powerful your networking efforts are when paired together with your other marketing initiatives.

Networking is all about establishing, growing and nurturing long term beneficial relationships with people. You will notice some of the most successful individuals are often the most connected. Developing these healthy connections can lead to progression and opportunities.

It’s also important to remember that your network isn’t just business individuals or people in a similar field as your own, you should also consider friends and family as part of that network as well.

Spending the time to build your network comes down to one thing, leverage. While having a large network is a good thing, ensuring that it’s a quality network with the intrinsic value you can call upon to help in certain instances is something to keep in mind.

Collecting a pile of business cards isn’t necessarily the best strategy for building your network. Having a common interest, understanding goals and developing a good foundation in the connection is much more effective.

Also Read: Dealing with fundraising problems? These three startups may have the answer

Building credibility by networking

When you begin to build your network online, as well as in-person, your resources begin to grow. Supplying this growing network with reliable data, ideas and knowledge will help increase your reputation as well as make you more visible to others.

Opportunities and referrals

These may be the most obvious points as to why building and maintaining your network is so important. It’s also a huge reason why most startups participate in networking, they want to gain access to quality referrals and business opportunities.

While you may not know how opportunities or referrals will materialise, obtaining them through your network ensures they are high quality and easier to convert as opposed to solely relying on digital marketing efforts.

New thoughts and perspectives

Networking involves interactions with businesses and people from a wide variety of diverse contexts which can create a huge advantage in thought processes and perspectives. Some of these advantages are:

  • Break old habits: Inviting in fresh perspectives from your network can allow you to mix things up and force you to take some risks. Some ideas may not work out, while others have the potential for big payoffs.
  • Benefit from experience: Even after working for many years in one field your expertise will be limited given there is only so much one person can do. Tapping into your network of people allows you to gain the perspective of individuals who have worked for a variety of different companies or different industries and may be able to provide actionable and solution-based advice that they have personally seen be effective in the past.
  • Reach new audiences: If you are finding yourself or your business exhausting current target audiences or not getting the return on investment you are looking for with your marketing efforts, reaching out and tapping into your network can reinvigorate or show you the things you need to re-evaluate and change.

Building a business and accumulating clients can take a lot of time and effort so it’s good to have a solid network of business associates and friends that you can draw energy from when needed.

Taking time to foster and nurture these relationships can empower your success with your start-up or entrepreneurial journey and allow you to cultivate the career and business you’re aiming to build.

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