Always Be Networking
The Importance of Networking In-Person and Online
Many of us become involved in all aspects of running our clinical practice or small business that it's easy to overlook consciously and continually building your network. Networking is a business basic and so important to ingrain into your mindset no matter where you are. Always be thinking about who can benefit from your services and vice versa. Maybe you'll meet someone who can provide insight for a business need of your own.
Social gatherings, business events, neighbors, friends, friends-of-friends, community leaders and your own family can lead to personal interactions with others who have shared common interests. As Mark McCormack famously said, "All things being equal, people will do business with a friend; all things being unequal, people will still do business with a friend." The sweeping changes of the pandemic have resulted in more online meetings; however, face-to-face interactions very much still matter.
The obvious benefits of online interactions via professional groups such as LinkedIn and others are the 24/7 availability to reach others with common interests, as well as creating your profile to showcase and summarize your expertise in a succinct manner. Introverts, especially, can benefit from a solid online presence. But, the key is to seek out appropriate groups and keep your online presence updated, then actively participate in the professional groups, which is easier said than done. It takes a fair investment of time to regularly share and read articles of relevance with your peers via professional networks.
Suggestions for networking in person and online include the following:
--Attend different types of events
--Meet people through other people
--Introduce yourself when appropriate
--Don't take up too much time
--Let the other person speak
--Present a success story
--Keep updated business cards with you at all times
--Leverage social media on a regular basis
--Follow up, follow through
"Your network is your net worth"