Definition Of Professional Networking
“Networking is a deliberate activity to build, reinforce and maintain relationships of trust with other people to further your goals. Professional networking is simply networking focused on professional goals.” Business Networking is about real relationships and real trust, which are very hard to establish in an online only connection.
The Purpose Of Professional Networking
- The purpose of professional business networking is to build and maintain professional or business relationships over time.
- To achieve goals related to business or professional development
The Benefits And Importance Of Professional Networking In Business
The benefits and importance of professional networking in business are, among others:
- To be “top of mind”, the first person others think of when a certain profession or industry is mentioned.
- To build relevant professional- or business-relationships with other people. With “relevant” is meant that the person you connect with can actually add value to you or your business.
- By being part of a business or professional network you get access to knowledge the other people possess, especially tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge — as opposed to formal, codified or explicit knowledge — is the kind of knowledge that is difficult to transfer to another person by means of writing it down or verbalizing it. Being part of a network also give you access to information that people preferably would not put in writing which can help you avoid people that are underperforming on the labor market for example.
- That you get access to people. Once you get to know another person more personally, which is the whole idea with professional- or business-networking, it will be easier to connect with that person also in a business setting. They will at least give you that meeting in private that you want to have.
How To Build, Develop And Maintain Professional Business Networks
To build and maintain a professional business network you need to:
- Be present at events and other functions that are platforms for professional business networking. You also need to have regular activity on social and professional media platforms. You need to do this to make sure you stay top-of-mind so that you gain new contacts and maintain the once you already have.
- Be active. Only by actually communicating with people can you build and maintain your network. First out is a greeting like “Hello, how are you? My name is…”. Then you engage in some small talk.
- Show charisma. Smile, show energy and engage in positive communication. People have to see and remember you.
- Share your knowledge and contacts with others. By sharing you create value for people around you and they are more likely to engage positively with you and remember you in a positive way. Sharing is a very good fuel towards a relationship of trust.
- Stay relevant. Learn new things; stay up-to-date with events and new developments in your profession. Share the new knowledge with your network, or at least let people know that you have it.
Professional Networking Activities
Some very useful professional and business activities are to:
- Share content
- Make people feel comfortable
- Give people positive attention
- Make sure people remember you in a positive way
What Are Some Business Networking Skills?
The most important skills for successful professional and business networking are to:
- Master small talk
- Have enough courage to take action
- Maintain a high activity level
- Have endurance to maintain relationships created
Examples Of Events For Professional And Business Networking
Some examples of events for professional and business networking are:
- Events named “professional networking events”
- Educational events
- Trade fairs
- Offices and other places of work — often forgotten
- Social events
Professional Networking Sites
This site, Fryday, is the online side of the real-world international network of professionals that Fryday is. Going forward this site will develop more and more to business-to-business networking.
In fact many of the social networks out there are also very suitable for professional networking.
- Some are:
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