As an entrepreneur and blogger building an online business, networking is a key activity that is not only fun, but critical to your personal growth and business development.

Let’s face it, there is so much to do when it comes to successfully building and online business that it’s good to have a network of friends and associates to draw energy from. Just being a part of a group serves to keep you on point in terms of getting things done.

It’s the law of attraction at work, surround yourself with people who share a similar ambition, and have the drive to make themselves successful and together, you all move forward as a group. It’s one of those things, when everyone is engaged the magic starts to happen.

This business is all about networking, building relationships and taking action and when you do these things continually the return on your investment in time will be quite positive.

But that’s not the extent of networking benefits, in fact that’s only the beginning. Let’s have a look at a few others.

1. Shared Knowledge

Being a part of a network and sharing ideas leads to shared knowledge. There is usually more than one way of accomplishing a goal and receiving feedback and discussing other points of view really expands your knowledge base and allows you to see things from a broader perspective.

As an individual it is unlikely that you will have the depth of knowledge and experience as that of a group, but collectively the power can be staggering.

Learning from others who have traveled the trail you are now navigating is always a huge plus for your advancement. Why not listen, learn and avoid some of the common pitfalls that most of us will experience without someone pointing the way?

2. Opportunities

Networking always results in the creation of opportunities, the thing is, you have no idea when or where they may materialize, which is why it’s important to be an action taker, ready to seize on a beneficial opportunity when it does come along.

Joint ventures, partnerships and even needs for services you provide are all possible results of networking.

3. Connections

People within a network of friends will have connections with many other people they have encountered in their own lives. When someone they know has a need and can benefit from products and services offered by someone within the network, that person will likely get the call.

The opposite is also true. You need a service provider and have no one that you know and trust, receiving a recommendation from within your network can be both timely and comforting.

4. Promotion

From blog post to product launches, you have people who will assist you in the promotion of goods and services. This saves you time and removes the risk of over promoting your own content and products. There is also the benefit of additional traffic to your site and an increase in subscribers and sales.

5. The Social

Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are teeming with people and opportunities to connect with others who are traveling a similar path.

Get out there and meet some folks, visit their blogs and interact with them, becoming a part of a few communities. This will enhance your flow of traffic and expand your overall online presence.

Conclusion

Networking has many benefits, not the least of which are the great people you will come to build relationships with. It brings a strong purpose to your business building efforts and really makes for a pleasant experience.

I personally enjoy this and have developed many great friendships. It’s always nice to have friends who have your back.

A couple points of caution:

  • As you build your network of friends always think about what YOU can contribute and how you can make the online life better for others.
  • Guard against spending too much time on social networking sites, find a balance and keep your most important projects in focus.

Are there other benefits of networking or methods that have served you well that you would like to share?

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18 Responses to 5 Benefits of Networking

  1. Tracy says:

    Well, as one who has been enjoying the benefits you've described above in networking with you and other members of the Beyond Blogging Project (and many others, through the blogosphere and social media), I can certainly attest to the magic.

    Actually, it's something I learned in many years of offline retail management, that many of us perform particularly well in concert with others, when a kind of alchemy makes the work we create together even better than the sum of our individual parts.

    Even (and especially) for those of us who work 'alone' in our homes and at our computers, networking can lift us up out of our solitude and give us friends, sounding boards, support networks and collaborators. Pretty good deal, I think! ;)

  2. Jimi Jones says:

    I could not agree more, Tracy.
    The BBP has been great for everyone involved and I look forward to the next wave of members.
    Our latest project has been a great example of networking and collaborating on a common goal and the entire experience has been invaluable.

    I learned about the importance of networking many years ago, finding the experience very motivating from the very beginning. Back in my Facilities Management days many doors were opened because of networking activities. Like I said, magic begins to happen.

    For the shy and unengaged, they must overcome whatever barriers that exist, keeping them from enjoying the many benefits that await.

    If you are reading this and do not have a network of friends, do yourself a huge favor and get out there. :-)

    Thanks for the visit, Tracy!

  3. Kevin Tea says:

    What I like and admire about Jimi is that he practices what he preaches. He really commits himself to others and I am not saying that because he and some other online good guys – hey, they're good guys offline, too – have helped me in the past.

    It's a shame that the Twitter 12 project died a death but the foundlings are still there and going strong. Maybe we should give it the kiss of life!

  4. Mike CJ says:

    Where networking really gets interesting is when you start to get contact from “friends of friends” who are interested in doing business, or who have been recommended to contact you. I don't know if you reach some kind of tipping point, but I've certainly noticed a lot of that (to my great pleasure) recently.

  5. Jimi Jones says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Kevin!
    Yeah, the T-12 faded away on us but the members are still active and very supportive. There is much to be said about relationship building and being a part of a network. Without a doubt, networking has been one of the largest benefits for me.

  6. Jimi Jones says:

    That's what it's all about, Mike. Word of mouth recommendations are a testament to how you have built your business and your reputation, something to which you can be proud. :-)

  7. Joe Boyle says:

    Great post, Jimi.

    Networking helps expose you to new business opportunities, mainly because people get to see what you are like via the information you share and the content you write. It's a great way to meet people that you may end up knowing and/or working with for a long time!

  8. Jimi Jones says:

    Hi Joe.
    How are you, friend?
    I love networking and all of the great benefits (too many to list here) associated with the activity. It really is a lot of fun and a great way to meet folks like yourself who enjoy the activity as well.

    You hear stories all the time of how someone came across a business opportunity, obtained a new client or became a part of a joint venture, simply because they were out there networking. Running an online business and failing to network results in isolation and very limited opportunities.

    Thanks for visiting, it's always appreciated. :-)

  9. Joe Boyle says:

    I always get emails from people saying “Hey, found your site on XXXX (Twitter for example)”. The more of those emails I get, the better, because that means not only am I networking my stuff well, but others are too.

  10. Eric says:

    Hey Jimi,

    I personally love connecting with people in whatever way I can. I like to add value and really enjoy when someone contacts me mentioning how much they appreciate the fact that I made their life a little better. Always a nice feeling to be able to do.

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  11. Jimi Jones says:

    Hey Eric,
    good to see you, guy.
    I'm with you, love the networking aspect of the online life. helping others does have it's rewards and it is a great feeling knowing that someone got some value out of it and were able to better their situation.

    It was great to see you on BloggyWood Squares! LOL

  12. element321 says:

    Networking has been the best for me. I get more sales, more referrals, and make new friends networking online and out in person. In fact, most of my clients were referred through word of mouth networking.

  13. Jimi Jones says:

    Hi James.
    I have to agree, you cannot beat word of mouth referrals, it's the live testimonial from someone that the other person respects and values their opinion. In addition, there is the great reward of meeting nice folks like you that are always willing to share and help out others.

    If the positive energy of the online world could somehow be transferred to real life in a broader sense, the world would be a better place for the effort.

    Good seeing you, Dude!

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