This is a little different from my usual blog, but although it is not actually about photography I believe it’s just as valuable. No matter what business you are in networking is an essential part of business life.
No matter what people tell you lets be honest, ultimately the whole point of going networking is to gain more business for yourself. But it’s not as simple as that, how you go about networking is much more important than you may think.
Over the years I’ve seen all sorts of attitudes to networking. Networking is about building relationships, how you do this is your choice, but there are a few things I would not recommend. I’ve seen people enter a room go around the entire room handing out their business cards and then leave. But I think the worst one I’ve seen is a gentleman who insisted on presenting his 60 seconds to the room first, once he’d done this he then handed out his business cards and various leaflets and then left, he couldn’t even bother to wait around to hear anyone else speak, I left his card and leaflets on the table.
Too many people go networking and as soon as they leave the room they forget about the people they’ve just met. If I’ve met someone at a networking event who I find interesting and who I think I can help, I will actively look for opportunities for them. For instance I recently met a gentleman who had a very unusual business, it was great talking to him. When I left I could think of a few people that may be of help to him in his business, so I went out of my way to talk to the relevant people and make the appropriate introductions. This has led to a great opportunity for all three companies to work together and ultimately gain more business. I would like to think that if they had the chance to do the same for me they would, this may not always be the case but at least I believe I have kept the true spirit of networking alive.