At a time when we are all talking and becoming more attuned to social media, search and online PR there is still a place for face-to-face networking says Will Kintish:
Why you need to network?
When you attend events it often means you are extending your working day. The time is unpaid generally, time stolen from the family, friends, the gym or the TV.
So why when you can connect at the press of a mobile button should you network in the old fashioned way?
Well, here are some of the key reasons to consider when accepting more invitations and sacrificing your precious private time:
- Raise your profile
- Raise your organisation’s profile
- Source new colleagues
- Help source better suppliers
- Get feedback on your services and reputation
- Correct peoples’ wrong perceptions
- Learn about how other businesses work
- Understand the market place better
- Build your self-confidence in new arenas
- Gain introductions to useful contacts
Quite a list, while social media certainly has its place – I am a LinkedIn evangelist – there is nothing that can fully replace getting to know, like and trust someone through face-to-face meeting.
Why, because as humans that evolved over thousands of years we still rely on physical impressions and contact, from body language to the intonation of the voice.
Networking is fun
Going to an event can overawe professionals, even senior ones, where they are out of their comfort zone.
But many networking meetings are welcoming, interesting and fun, so continue with social media by all means but combine it with your networking as part of your personal and company marketing.
For more free ideas on effective networking just go to the Kintish website.
Notes from editor (specific Manchester networking clubs):
Manchester Business Breakfast Club – established 1997 in Manchester as an independent club and still going strong with over 30 members, meets every Friday in the wonderful Salford Real Tennis and Racquets Club
Simply Networking – run for many years with considerable popularity by Mark Greenwood, known as a genial and helpful host ( more so since City won the league), meets at various prestigious locations in the North West and Yorkshire (as well as other areas as far down as Devon- check the website). Also follow Mark on on Twitter @simplynetworkin
Others that you can consider for networking events in Manchester include Manchester Curry Club, 4N, Pro Manchester, Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
It is important to pick the one that suits yours aims and personality – all come witha range of formats – and commitments.
And as Mark Greenwood rounds off, “Happy networking.”