BusinessHow Business Leaders Can Thrive Through Networking

How Business Leaders Can Thrive Through Networking

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Digital connectivity has made networking far more accessible than ever before, enabling individuals the world over to break down barriers and form meaningful relationships at the touch of a button. 

A digitally connected world represents a great deal of opportunity for leaders in the business arena, and it has undoubtedly changed the face of work forever. 

Networking (in one form or another) has been a staple of the business arena for a great many years, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. 

For some, networking comes as naturally as breathing. Others, however, struggle greatly with forming meaningful connections. No matter which category you fall into, part of being a good leader is building and managing a successful team, which, on some level, requires you to network. 

In many cases, networking is so essential to the business leadership role that it can be hard to navigate the modern workplace without it. 

Here’s how successful networking can help you thrive as a leader in today’s world. 

Building the Perfect Team

It’s almost impossible to stumble across the perfect team. Putting together a group of professionals you can truly rely on requires a great deal of work on your behalf, and this is where your networking skills can come into play. 

There are plenty of fantastic platforms online on which you can find hopeful professionals looking to showcase their skills to the world – one of them might be your next best team member. 

Looking to your contacts to find valuable talent can help you take matters into your own hands. You know what you’re looking for in a new team member, and a well-connected network of professionals may be where to find it. 

Connecting with other professionals has never been so easy; all it takes initially is a good profile and a quick touch of the follow button. Many highly successful CEOs and business leaders have incredibly well-established online presences; just take a look at Michael Savage New Canaan for a superb example. 

Keeping these important connections on your radar can allow you to stay in the loop when it comes to the availability of talent, and when the time finally arrives for you to hire someone, you can consult your list of contacts. This can be particularly handy for businesses that can’t afford the luxury of a full-time HR department.

Keeping up with the Current Times

For a leader to thrive in business, they need to know the lay of the land. Keeping up with the current times is a must, and a large online network of professionals represents the ideal opportunity to do so. 

Whether you decide to use LinkedIn, F6S, Bark, Twitter, or a range of different platforms, finding a space in which your network can share news articles, post their thoughts, and offer their services is crucial in tracking the pulse of your industry and the direction in which it’s heading. 

If you have a large network, you’ve got a wealth of information from brilliant business minds all over the planet, and knowledge is a powerful tool. It also provides you with an opportunity to share your own ideas with others and hopefully meet likeminded individuals that could one day be a business partner as a result. 

Career Opportunities

If you’re part of a thriving professional network, you’re likely more visible to companies looking to hire. This represents an array of great career opportunities, and you might not even have to apply – they’ll come to you, especially if you’re already in a leadership position. 

It’s worth noting here that according to a study on CNBC, up to 80% of jobs are filled through personal and professional connections. 

Career opportunities don’t always equate to leaving your current role, however; it’s quite the opposite. Sometimes, professionals from your network may want to reach out to you in order to form partnerships that take your career and your company to the next level. 

The more people you meet, the more opportunities begin to unveil themselves to you. In many instances, these might be opportunities that you never even dreamt of before. 

One connection could be a steppingstone to a new journey in your career, so it’s always worth reaching out, even if you’re apprehensive at first – there’s nothing to lose, and there’s everything to gain. 

Finding New Clients

You can use your network to directly target clients that might be right for your products and services, allowing you to work within your niche and save a great deal of time in the process. 

Finding new clients can be tough, but it’s critical to mission success. In order to thrive, consistently finding new clients should be a top priority, and networking is at the heart of it. 

Here are some quick tips for networking with potential clients:

  1. Focus on the relationship aspect – Online networking platforms shine when they’re used to develop relationships over time, rather than to act as a portal for a quick advertisement of your services. Focusing on building a relationship is a key part of networking, and it shouldn’t be underestimated. 
  2. Reach out with purpose – You’ve got a service or a brand to represent, so why not represent it? Make sure you always reach out to clients with purpose – a random message with no point won’t work; you need to have a strategy in place. Where is the conversation going? What are you hoping to achieve from your communication?
  3. Follow up – Always follow up on your initial contact, but make sure not to annoy your potential clients by pestering them too much. Following up represents integrity and transparency, and it lets people know you’re serious about your work. 
  4. Be friendly – Being friendly and approachable at all times is a golden rule in the world of networking; whether you’re online or at a networking event, if you remain open-minded and approachable, you’ll raise the chances of meeting the right people. 

Coping with Unforeseen Challenges

Leaders that focus on the here and now while neglecting a future-focused strategy may struggle to cope with unforeseen challenges, and if you’ve ever stepped into a leadership role before, you’ll likely know that unforeseen challenges are rife in the business world. 

In order to thrive in the face of new challenges, a future-oriented approach needs to be considered, and networking can provide you with the solid foundations necessary to do this. 

For example, using your network to build external relationships may prove to help you out when the time comes to make larger strategic decisions about your team and your company as a whole. The right contact could be able to help you out when you’re facing a new challenge; whether this is in the form of advice or even services, having an external figure to turn to could make all the difference between success and failure in the future. 

Professional Growth

Thriving in the modern workforce means growing your professional skillset whenever you get the opportunity. 

Your network can be the ideal tool for inspiring this growth, but only if you make the effort to actively engage with it. By sharing information among your peers, comparing notes, listening to advice, and exploring the entire spectrum of opinions across your professional network, you have a prime opportunity to develop your own understanding of your role and its position in the current landscape. 

Improving Your Social Life

Networking isn’t all about making work-related contacts, and thriving as a leader isn’t solely about how you perform at work; it’s about looking after your overall wellbeing

A good network can improve your social life, enable you to form meaningful relationships and, hopefully, build a support system of people you trust and rely on. 

Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time, and it’s important to know where to look when that time finally comes, and this could mean you need to turn to your contact list. 

Focusing on the professional aspect of networking is all well and good, but its benefits stretch far beyond what it can offer you in the working world, so make sure you take some time to think about your social life too.  

Developing Your People Skills

Being a good leader requires great personal skills, as does networking. Learning to successfully network means putting your people skills into action, and every time you do this, you’re learning something new about connecting with others. 

Communication is the foundation of networking, and without communication skills, leading a team would not be possible. Whenever you feel like networking isn’t your strong point, just remember that it’s a skill, and skills can be learned and honed, so don’t give up hope until you’ve been doing it for a while. 

Networking tends to take time to yield results, and it’s not always easy to quantify those results. Whether it’s finding a new team member, bolstering your professional opportunities, making friends, or simply following someone’s career online, networking can help you thrive and progress to the next level in a leadership role. 

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