There seems a rise lately of networking events, which I suppose is a mix of people wanting more real life connection after two years of lock downs as well as the online space being so crowded we need to go back to basics to get noticed.
So are networking events worth it? My view!
For me, I started attending networking events before I even started my business. Whilst I was at university I took a Summer course on how to start your own business, which included encouragement to attend networking events at the university, which I did.
I then expanded to other local events, even though I had no idea what my business was going to be. My favourite events were Bizmums events, where children were welcome. Although mine were in school it was like a mother and toddler group where they talked about interesting subjects – they seemed like my kind of people.
After a few events I actually started my business and it was so nice to be surrounded by likeminded women, my friends didn’t really get it but this new group of women that I had found did!
They were also the perfect clients to create websites for and a few years in I had created most of their websites and they were all constantly recommending me in groups.
I never went to an event thinking I’m going to sell something today. To me it was the conversations and connections. I met people who got me, who ran businesses of things I needed and if they didn’t need me they knew someone who did.
I got quite addicted, I have a MASSIVE love of people! I was attending around 3 per week but as my business took off I started attending them less and less, due to being so busy.
More and more of my business became online and I felt like I lost that connection with people as I never really got on with the social media world (and still don’t!).
Working at home during covid, with three children was hard. I resented my husband going out to work and leaving the house and as soon as I was able I started renting an office locally.
But I was still lonely there, I need human interaction. I’m useless in Facebook groups, I get so many notifications on social media I struggle to keep up and get overwhelmed. I just wanted conversations with real people in person.
But so many people felt the same and over the last 6 months I’ve really got back into networking, both online and off.
It’s made a massive difference to not only my business but my own mental health. I still don’t go to sell, I go for the conversations, connections and support.
It’s not enough now to just be posting. on social media, people are looking for connections and they are finding that they are only getting that through conversations with people via Zoom or in a room full of them!
I was speaking to a high level coach recently who told me she is no hardly on social media anymore and since making this decision her business has grown massively. What was she doing?
Networking! Starting conversations and making connections.