In the past, we have talked about the idea of how every company needs marketing to thrive. We covered how we have to balance both inbound techniques and a solid networking strategy. Networking really can deliver excellent ROI for your business. Having a solid foundation of networks pretty much guarantees a boost your profit.
Similar to inbound methodology, networking is a long-term investment. It takes time and patience to build up a good network of people. Usually, this is not an instant gratification type of thing, but more of a lasting relationship. Of course, there are times when you meet one person and everything seems to click into place overnight, but those are the rarities. You must work at networking—and it is well worth the work.
We recently came across a great article by Chris Garrett that explained five reasons we should invest time into networking and felt it very relevant—especially in relation to last week’s blog. Networking is not an either/or to social media and the rest of inbound marketing—it is an and!
Here are Chrisg.com’s five reasons:
- “Friendship Benefits” Sometimes having a friend in the same business or field as you can be incredibly beneficial. We need to know that someone—a friend—will be there when the shit hits the fan or if we just need someone to have our back. Having someone who understands what we go through within our work helps us both psychologically and emotionally. We’ve talked before about the human element—well, it can be summed up with people need other people.
- “Opportunities” This is where that previously mentioned ROI comes into play. Having a good network of people surrounding us can basically guarantee a multitude of opportunities. This could mean joint ventures, client leads, partnerships, and much more. Employment opportunities are also a big one in this category. If there are two candidates for a job who are equally qualified, it is going to go to the person you know and trust already.
- “Advice” We all know that there are just some things that Google cannot help us with—namely things that friends with actual experience can. Of course, you can hire a paid consultant, but that bill can rack up real quick. We truly rely on our networks to keep us on track—as long as we return the favor when they need it. Garrett said, “the better your network the more knowledge you can tap into.” This is extraordinarily true.
- “Assistance” Networking is about mutual help and fostering a relationship. When you are willing to assist your network, they will most likely also assist you. It is a give and take. Think of it in ways of promotional settings, community conversations, and introductions to others in your field.
- “Positive Influence” Have you ever heard the phrase you are what you eat? Well, you are whom you associate with. This has the potential for a negative association just as much as a positive one, so you must be careful in your networks. When you surround yourself with positive people with the right types of attitudes, habits, and so forth, you are setting yourself up for success.