Those who are aiming to grow in their career or grow their business should not forget the importance of networking. In fact, nothing can work better than networking in the present-day world.
In a recent interview, Alice Niyonkuru, an upcoming entrepreneur from Burundi, along with Christopher Vuba, an urban planner-cum-entrepreneur and a Mandela Washington Fellow from South Africa insisted that they would not have begun their business ventures if they had not done effective networking. They added that they would not have prospered also if they had not networked with the right people.
What is networking?
Interaction with people, exchanging information and developing contacts are the main ingredients of networking. If carried out in the right manner, it can help people in furthering one's career or in improving business.
Alice Niyonkuru points out “The world is not an island, you cannot have a thriving career or business without the help of others, which is where networking comes into place.”
1. Be always ready for networking
Some people have a wrong notion that their networking sessions are confined to scheduled business meetings. But in reality, you can network even when you walk on the road, wait for your bus to get back home, etc.
In other words, you should always be mentally ready for identifying the unseen opportunities that may be around you. Even cab drivers or watch guards may need the services or products you offer or the qualifications you may have.
2. Investing in your appearance is a must
Whatever may be your profession or qualification or whichever product or service you deal with, you should try to look your part perfectly. This means when you network with or meet people, you must create a good impression with your appearance.
3. Keep your cards ready
Whether you are doing your business or are employed or whether you are a self-employed professional, business cards should readily be available with you. By immediately giving your cards when you meet people, you can create a good impression. If you do not give cards during your first meeting with people, there are chances of they forgetting you very quickly.
4. Never delay contacting them
You should contact the people you have networked with, as soon as possible. According to experts, it is better you contact them within 48 hours. This proves to them that you are giving importance to them. Not only that, you will be fresh in their memory. By contacting them soon, you will be able to create a good and lasting impression in their minds.
5. Use your social media accounts in the best possible manner
Networking becomes easier with social media. Thanks to the effectiveness of social media networking, you can even access those whom you have all along been thinking inaccessible. You should therefore ensure that your profiles on the social media sites project you in the right manner. Every social networking site is different and so, you should tailor your profile according to the site.