Most people focus on networking purely to get a new job, but it is just one factor of the valuable thing called networking. Connecting with other professionals will help steer personal and career growth. Networking has come a long way from cigars and whiskey, but there has always been one consistency, and that is face to face. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, have all grown in popularity and new networking tools seem to always pop up. Still, business groups hold meetings, video calls are used to try and recreate face to face and people pay hundreds to go to conferences.

1. Free promotion of you and your business.

If you are out and about, talking to likeminded people a whole world of opportunities opens up. It is a great way to get the word out about what you can do and what your business is doing.

2. Helps other people, creating good career karma!

Networking allows you to become a resource to other people as much as they are to you, it is a worthwhile process. It will give you a good name within your chosen industry and will encourage others to put in a good word for you in the future.

3. Learning from others, and expressing your professional opinions

Friends and family are invaluable but sometimes they just don’t quite understand your professional side in your chosen industry, but networking with likeminded people removes this barrier and opens the door to talk about industry-related matters. It creates an inbuilt support system for you and an environment that will help you succeed professionally.

4. Let’s get your innovative ideas across and let’s take it to the next level

Have you had an idea muddled up in your head, not sure quite how to enunciate it, or need some funding or help from someone far more experienced in the field, a networking event is an ideal route to take. You can share, explore and expand on your idea and get it to the next level with someone’s fresh perspective and understanding. Sometimes all your idea needs are an external perspective to get it going.

5. It is often a long-term investment.

You may not benefit from a connection that you make with someone tomorrow or even next week but six months from now you might be looking for the right person and luckily at the conference, you attended you made what is now an invaluable connection.

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