Did you know that almost 80 percent of professionals believe networking is essential?
On top of that, 70 percent of people got jobs at a company where they had a connection. There's no doubt that networking can make all the difference.
But traversing the networking terrain can be confusing. If you don't know what you're doing, it may not help at all.
Lucky for you, this article will help you know the different types of business networking opportunities. Soon you'll be on your way to finding the best connections out there.
Read on to learn more.
1. Online Networks
Online networks are a newer form of business networking but are as helpful as the others. Even if you don't participate in the other types, you should be using an online network.
Online networks can be a social media site. Chances are you are thinking of LinkedIn, but Twitter is becoming a crucial site for businesses as well.
There are also more formal groups that meet online. They may often use webcams or chatrooms to discuss and connect.
Online networks are great for busy businesspeople because you don't have to go anywhere. If you don't have time for other networking opportunities, make sure you join an online network at least.
2. Strong Contact Networks (BNI)
Strong contact networks are smaller groups of professionals from various professions. Often, one person alone can represent their business.
Because of this, these organizations are smaller than most networking groups. But they often prove more effective than others. You will get to know people better in these groups than in others.
Also, these people will know who to contact if they need somebody. Imagine that you are a painter. If you join a strong contact network with a real estate agent, the chances are that they will contact you if they need a house painted.
Strong contact networks also help because they don't have any competition. Because there are no other painters in your group, the real estate agent will contact you each time.
3. Casual Contact Networks
If you are familiar with your local Chamber of Commerce, you know what an informal contact network is. While there are other examples, this is the most recognizable one.
Casual contact networks are much larger than strong contact networks. It's easier to join these than strong contact networks. And they tend to meet less often than strong contact networks.
The downside to casual contact networks is that many people from the same profession can join them. This means that real estate agent has other options than you.
But because it doesn't take up as much time, you should still make an effort to join one. Any connection is a good connection, and you never know what may lead to more business.
Want to Learn More About Business Networking?
Don't stop with knowing about the most common types of business networking. Continue to find more ways to network.