One of the most important duties of every entrepreneur should be networking. Not just because it is good to know someone. It is crucial for you and your business to know the people. The right people.

One of the most important duties of every entrepreneur should be networking. Not just because it is good to know someone. It is crucial for you and your business to know the people. The right people.

Why networking is so important?

The reason is quite simple. Business is networking. Success of your business may depend on people you know. And it probably will.

These people are the ones who could help you spread the word about the product you build. These people are the ones who could help you do better marketing. These people are the ones who could help you gain more customers (or first customers). These people are the ones who could help you interest investors, find the right employees, open the doors which are closed for you.

Networking means building relationships

Networking is much more than just going up to as many people as you can on some conference. It means building relationships with people. It means liking people and make them like you. It means building relationships based on friendship.

Do you think that your friends will help if you ask them for a favor? Of course they will. Do you think that they will help you spread the word about something you do, if they see that you do something interesting? Of course they will. Even if you don’t ask them for that.

The same is with “business friends”. And if they are connected to people who might be interested in what you do, in your business – it will be much easier for you, as an entrepreneur, to connect with them.

Social proof is a key

Social proof really works. That’s why we all buy things that are recommended by our friends. That’s why we all prefer to buy from someone who’s trusted by our friends. That’s why we, as entrepreneurs, like to put logos of well-known companies on our sites; or testimonials from employees of these companies. Because it builds trust. If someone can see the logotype of IBM, Lenovo or Dell on some SaaS website – they are more eager to buy. If they trust them, if they use their service – it has to be trustworthy.

The same is with networking. People, no matter who they are, are much more eager to talk to you, if you were introduced by someone who they know. They won’t talk to you because of you, because of who you are or what product, service, business you build. They trust someone who they know and they trust them enough to spend some time with you.

Networking is not selling

Networking doesn’t mean selling. Again, it means building relationships, friendships. And just how you don’t ask anyone to buy something from you at the beginning of any friendship, you don’t sell anything in business networking. Especially at the beginning of building a business relationship.

You help them. They help you. It’s so simple.

Just like Gary Vaynerchuk once wrote (about his third book Jab Jab Jab Right Hook):

“For those who may not be familiar, my entire business philosophy pretty much revolves around the jab jab jab right hook method. Jabs are the value you provide your customers with: the content you put out, the good things you do to convey your appreciation. And the right hook is the ask: it’s when you go in for the sale, ask for a subscribe, ask for a donation.”

By networking you can understand more

Networking may be extremely useful not only in building other relationships thanks to the ones you already have. By knowing the right people, by talking to them, buy listening them, you may learn a lot. You may learn a lot about yourself, your business, your product, your service, your brand, your market, industry, competitors… You choose.

You may gain feedback, you may learn about something you had no idea before, you may prepare better to build business you want.

You feel better

People need people. People feel better if they know other people. If they can do something together, if they can talk, even go for a beer. They feel more comfortable. They feel better.

Especially if these people are similar to each other. If they have some similar interests or hobby. If they have something in common. If they have something to talk about.

By networking you’re building friendships. And friendships are great, no matter if you build a business or live your life.

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