Networking is an essential part of a business in this day and age. While the hardest workers out there would all like to believe that they live in a world where their work speaks for itself, but without networking, most businesses who do not network will get drowned out by the competition.
But what is Networking?
For those who may not know, networking is the art of effectively establishing relationships with people that are mutually beneficial. When people think of networking, one of the first images that come to mind is the typical large business type meeting with higher-ups in the company discussing big collaborations or business moves. This Hollywood image is almost non-existent in the small business world, as the workspace has taken a much more casual route, using meeting places such as coworking spaces.
You may recall me praising coworking spaces in previous articles for their ability to increase focus and productivity, but they also can serve as an excellent networking platform. The Upsuite working spaces in Los Angeles serves as a good example of how a coworking space can create a socially dynamic atmosphere to not only maintain business relationships but establish new ones. The TV presentation rooms offer board-like privacy for those times that you require to do the things you would normally use an office for, while the casual area offers the contrast of an at ease setting to conduct business with new clients in a more relaxed manner. As far as establishing new business relationships and connections, the common area has a large social area which makes socializing with new people effortless. The long bar-like table near the cafe’ does this in a similar manner as well.
One of the quickly evolving factors of any business is how progressively integrated the internet has become into our lives. We can use this to our advantage and reach as many people as quickly as possible using social media outlets. Using our personal social media to get ideas out there can seem hit and miss at times, and some people may not want to go this route(depending on how much they want everyone they know to be hearing about their work). This is where creating work specific websites or pages can come in quite handy. Let’s use the most well-known one, Facebook, as an example: when you make a business page on Facebook you can create business-sponsored ads, and tailor your Facebook page to reach larger audiences, or perhaps more accurately, the right audiences, using the create a custom audience. Many other websites have customized settings like this as well, and many have unique ways of reaching a large audience. I’m not going to go into detail on every one of them, but the possibilities for reaching more people are more numerous than ever when you look at the number of ways you can reach an audience through one app, and multiply that by the amount of social media apps you are willing to use i.e Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Educate yourself on the most effective ways to advertise. While many people only go so far as seeing the boost button, certain things like that may not be optimal for reaching different audiences and have been proven to only reach an audience of your “fans” specifically(people that already follow or work with you closely). Remember, just because it is convenient, does not mean that it is easy. Knowing how to properly use social networks to reach the maximum amount of people can be time-consuming and frustrating at times, so make sure you are willing to put some work and thought into your strategy.
There are many ways to build a stable career network, nearly infinite in fact. With this is in mind, the main idea that could encapsulate this article is this; if we want to build a successful network, we should be constantly looking for and seizing opportunities that come our way. Whether its a shared Coworking space, Social Networking, or simply building rapport with the people that are a part of your everyday life, improving and increasing your network can be as simple as seizing the moment to reach out and interact.