Networking 101: Branching out and growing your business & network

Guide to Networking

By Arman Alim (MSB’24)

Getting yourself and your business out in the world can be tough and stressful, but it doesn’t always have to be

Networking is an essential part of everyday life from friends and family to the workplace. Especially in regards to businesses, networking can be the difference between your business/ professional life going under and staying afloat. Here are several things to keep in mind in order to make networking painless and an asset to your business.

1. Attend networking events!

 These events should be focused on your business segment or anything you anticipate growing into! Try to use them to gain expertise in your field as well as get to know people with similar backgrounds as you.

1. Try out Eventbrite! It is an awesome place to find events. There are thousands of in person and virtual events posted.

2. Facebook Posts/Groups! Another place where people are constantly posting events locally and virtually.

2. Bring a friend/partner with you to networking events!

They can make icebreakers that much easier and can help you better articulate your business, goals, and vision when networking. There is power in numbers and that definitely applies when networking.

3. Always make sure you follow up!

You can only talk so much with someone at a time, make sure you are able reconnect and continue to build important relationships! Find something that you can follow up with, ANYTHING to get the conversation to roll over.

4. Follow up with clients that you have previously worked with 

Ask them to refer you to others that might be helpful to your business going forward! Everyone always has a friend that can give a helping hand!

Keep a list of past clients and make sure you reach out to them! Your past clients know your worth and can advocate for you best! 

5. Network with people that you wouldn’t naturally consider!

Maybe someone from a completely different business or background. Having differing perspectives and viewpoints can be extremely helpful.

Don’t pigeonhole yourself! Anyone and everyone can help you in their own unique way.

6.Don’t be afraid to reach out online to network!

People that are valuable can be all over the place. The internet gives us the opportunity to meet with people face to face from all over the world, USE IT!

The world is more interconnected than ever, you can definitely make valuable connections over the internet through Zoom Calls and other platforms! Overcome distance and gain knowledge! 

7. Networking doesn’t have to be super formal!

Just find people you would think could help you or give you good advice & meet them over lunch casually and talk business! 

Find any excuse to get to know people and pick their brain. It can be over coffee, lunch, a walk in the park, or anything where two people can talk to each other.

Networking and getting yourself out there isn’t a scary process and can actually be fun! Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to success personally and professionally.

Published on August 13, 2021

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