We've seen the word a million times in articles, magazines, blogs - even Facebook - but do we have the slightest idea of what 'networking' actually means?
We might relate it directly to Facebook and we definitely know it's an important tool when it comes to doing business.
But, do we know its actual objective?
Networking can be defined as the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions, and it specifically refers to the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.
Now we know what it means, how do we get it done?
Should we just go to parties, meetings, benefits and events? Talk to people about our company or business? Exchange business cards and be sociable?
Yes - that's exactly what a net-worker does. The main idea is to make new contacts with the objective of forming mutually beneficial business relationships.
That is it! Now you're an expert on the subject.
So why go ahead and do business networking? Some entrepreneurs and business-owners actually think business networking is a more cost-effective method of getting new clients than advertising or public relations.
Business networking can be conducted in a local business community, or on a larger scale on the internet. Social networks play a very important role for companies nowadays.
Even law firms and oil companies have Facebook and Twitter accounts in order to attract more clients and be able to get the word out there about what they do.
Social networks make companies more approachable to the general public and potential future clients. That's the reason why the position of 'community manager' has boomed over the last five years.
If it's not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, your company literally does not exist.
To be the greatest networker known to man, just follow these simple tips:
• Always be honest. No one likes a liar.
• Carry your business cards with you at all times.
• Try to meet at least five or more new people at an event.
• Be friendly.
• You will need to give to be able to receive. The business relationship works both ways.
• Go get them!