Your business network is an essential tool for expanding your professional reach.
Networking can help build important relationships, create new opportunities, and increase visibility.
However, finding effective networking opportunities can be difficult and time consuming.
This article will discuss 8 ways to find effective business networking opportunities.
1. Join Networking Sites
Check out networking sites where people list events you can attend.
The most popular ones are Meetup and Eventbrite.
They list meetings in your local area based around various themes.
Both are easy ways to find events to attend near you.
2. Use Social Media
In the same way, you can find events listed on social media.
People will advertise opportunities in their news feed and some platforms like Facebook allow you to create events.
LinkedIn, is the world’s biggest professional networking site. It too allows you to join professional groups and events, or create your own.
Use the search function to look for networking opportunities using relevant keywords.
3. Maintain Contact with Friends and Colleagues
Keep in steady touch with friends and colleagues and you’ll naturally hear about opportunities to network.
You can find great places to go through word of mouth and have someone to attend with.
4. Get Active in Your Local Business Community
Connect with your local business community and look for events happening around town.
A great way to get information in one place is to join your locality’s Chamber of Commerce.
Another benefit is that you’ll become better known in the offline business community.
5. Join Relevant Industry Organisations
Look for organizations in your industry that you can join.
They’ll often host events where you can meet other professionals in your field.
Join your school or university’s alumni association.
Keep a look for relevant affinity organizations.
6. Find and Connect with Influencers in Your Niche
Follow influencers in your business niche.
These are people who are the most active on social media and individuals who people listen to.
They’ll often talk about events and opportunities that they’re excited about attending.
7. Attend or Give Speeches and Presentations
Although they’re not specifically designed for networking, speeches and presentations are sometimes good opportunities to network.
Look for presentations where the people you would want to connect with are likely to attend.
8. Create Your Own Network Event
Host your own networking event.
You can advertise it on social media and other online marketing channels.
Include speakers, activities, and refreshments to give people something to do.
Pick a novel topic that is of immediate concern to your niche, and invite the people you want to meet.
Make the Most of Your Networking Opportunities
Because it takes a great deal of time and effort to attend networking events, you need to make each one count.
Start by identifying your goal and the type of person you’d want to meet to achieve this goal.
Then, for each event, research who will be there to determine if your target contact is likely to attend.
Prepare well by identifying your own unique value and creating an elevator speech.
Your speech explains who you are, what you do, and the benefits of knowing you.
Get organised with a plan for following up with those you meet so you can start building a lucrative relationship right away.
Power networking is a numbers game.
You will learn it through trial and error.
Get out there as much as you can and start meeting people today to build your business network.