One of the best things you can do for your business is to network. Networking allows you to make new connections that can help you with your business or your career.

Even if you’re an introvert, you need to network. There are benefits to networking, including increasing your credibility, finding new partners, and establishing yourself as a leader and a mentor.

Here are a few things to keep in mind so that you can get more out of networking next time you attend an event or conference:

1. Have a Purpose

Before you attend a networking event or any other networking opportunity, you should know your purpose. What do you hope to accomplish? Are you trying to find others to create a mastermind group? Do you want to identify potential clients? Do you hope to find a partner for your next venture?

Know why you are networking. You’ll get more out of networking if you understand the point.

2. Choose Your Events Carefully

Just because you are invited to a networking event doesn’t mean that it makes sense for you. While networking is important, you can’t be doing it all the time; you need to focus on your business as well. Once you know your networking purpose, you can narrow down your networking attendance to the events that make the most sense for you and your business. Target your networking efforts to events that will give you the best ROI for your time.

3. Respect Others

People can feel when you respect them (or don’t). Make sure to go into any networking situation determined to respect others. Be considerate and polite. Be open to listening to others and chatting. You might be surprised at what you can learn, and the opportunities that can come your way, when you are respectful and willing to listen.

4. Build Relationships

To get more out of networking, you need to  realize that it’s about relationships. Look for people with similar values and goals. Networking allows you to mingle with many different people, and you should use this as a chance for you to seek out others and build relationships.

The relationships I’ve made through networking have opened interesting opportunities for me with my business, as well as resulted in personal friendships that are fulfilling beyond the confines of business and career.

5. Don’t Forget to Give Back

Networking isn’t just about taking and finding an advantage for you. It’s also important to give back. You will get more out of networking if you remember to give to others and help others in the same way you have been helped. Look for ways that you can mentor some of the people you network with. If you have a resource that could help someone, offer it. As you network and build relationships, you

As you network and build relationships, you will find that giving opens its own doors to new opportunities and chances to make a difference with your business.

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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