The value of networking during a pandemic

19.08.2020
Jazmine Murray

Networking can be a strategy for growth and a way of building connections to help further your business or role at your workplace. It can be done in person or digitally. Building connections and relationships with others enable us to exchange information and gain potential business opportunities. Networking is where you begin to build a relationship with someone who can give you insider knowledge or connections to do with new possibilities. In a business setting, networking is usually more formal and targeted. 

There are two types; soft and hard networking. Soft networking is where you build a relationship with someone without having any specific goal or intention of an advantage to come out of it. Hard networking is where you enter into a conversation with a particular aim or connection which you wish to build. When doing this, you are looking to begin a firm and straight forward agreement that benefits business, rather than merely wanting to talk to someone casually. 

One of the essential aspects of networking is delivering a successful elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is where you introduce who you are and what you do. This will be your first impression, so you must communicate confidently and clearly. It’s also important to be memorable. The last thing you want to do is blend into the crowd. You can also set yourself apart from the others by wearing something different or eccentric.

Many people find the mere thought of networking to induce anxiety; however, it doesn’t need to be so scary. Networking is a regular part of social interaction and is often done without you realising it. However, if you are struggling with anxiety around business networking, there are a few things you can do, such as arriving early. It’s also a great idea to prepare and practice your elevator pitch before the event so that you aren’t rushing to think of something on the spot. This means you can focus more on listening to what people are saying rather than panicking about what to say next. 

Networking is an essential part of a business and a great way to create both personal and professional relationships. Despite what it may seem like at first, networking doesn’t have to be difficult and is just a simple interaction that can be quite enjoyable. The connections built during networking are crucial and can be vital to your business’s growth and success, as it can connect you with potential investors, clients and business alliances.