Thursday, May 7, 2020

Someone called me Mr Networking! Is this a bad thing?

Someone called me Mr Networking! Is this a bad thing?

In the last few months, I seemed to have gained myself a reputation as the guy who is always at Networking events! (Thanks to Doug @unmaskedmentalhealth) Yes, I have been to a fair few recently, I admit (including Ladies4networking L4N but that was an accident!), but that’s ok, isn’t it? Well, it got me thinking about why I’ve been going to so many networking events and if I really am Mr Networking!

Here are the top 5 reasons why I network!

1.   Business Connections: stating the obvious I guess, as it’s the whole point of these events but Meeting other business owners in person is a really important step to securing new jobs and clients. It creates a path from You to Them!

2.   Learn from the experts: who better to gain advice and recommendations from than other people who have worked in business, some for a lot of years! The chance to talk and ask questions with people who are experts by experience is priceless. They will have connections and ideas that could be hugely valuable to your business’s progress and development. 

3.   Put a face to the name: allowing people to see the person behind the Brand makes your business more recognisable and increases approachability. In a very digital world, it is important to present your business face to face It lets people get a feel for your personality, your work ethics and your compatibility with their own business. People get to know who they’re investing in.

4.  Socialising: as a small business working on your own can be isolating and pretty boring, especially if like me, you like to talk! You’ll find it helps to improve your confidence when meeting with other clients and the more people you engage with the more improvement you will see in your next meeting. If you struggle with confidence it’s a great way of developing your skills! Not everyone is happy to talk to a room full of strangers, you will find you’re not the only one!

5. Showcase your business!: you work hard to build a successful business, a lot of hours and energy go into perfecting the details of your brand so shout about it! Tell other businesses what you do, what’s you can offer them and be proud of what you do. You never know, it may help someone else as well in their business journey!

When looking at the Benefits of Networking (and ignoring the fact that it usually means really early starts ) I think I will continue going whenever I can! It’s opened a lot of doors for me and my business and has provided me with a lot of opportunities to learn and grow. I’ve noticed a lot more people are recognising me as Danny Thompson Photography. I’ve expanded my connections on LinkedIn with local and international companies and my word of mouth business referrals have grown exponentially!

I don’t just attend one networking event, I like to pop into a few different ones, in different areas,  HOT networking, West Vale Works, Calderdale Charity Networking at Townhall Dental, Sowerby Bridge, Unpretentious Networking and Croft Myl networking just to name a few, each has their own format, guest speakers, members etc... I take a lot from each one I go to! So make sure you find the one that fits you and your industry. 

Even in the current Lockdown, I am finding ways to keep up my Networking routine! It may not be in quite the same way as usual, but networking over Zoom has become the new norm. It's helping me to stay in touch with businesses, help others where possible and is keeping me focused on adapting my business to the Covid-19 climate. I've had a fair few Zoom- Brews the last few weeks! I guess being Mr Networking isn’t a bad thing after all! It’s meant I’ve now got a great circuit of business support and contacts and made some great friends too! 

So if you see me at an event, feel free to say hi and let’s see how we can help each other

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