The Value of Networking

Jul 21, 2023Strategy

When the pandemic pushed “pause” on networking and social engagement, many of us got out of the habit of attending in-person events. If you’ve yet to fill in your schedule again, I’m here to remind you that making time for face-to-face networking is critical to your company’s success.

I know you’re busy juggling seemingly endless obligations. But my years in publicity and PR services have taught me that a little bit of regular networking can go a long, long way.


The Best Communications Strategy Is an Authentic One

My client Lynn Tokarczyk is a master networker. She’s not only naturally gifted at making authentic connections, but she also puts in the work—attending events, speaking professionally, and finding impactful touchpoints for furthering new relationships.

At one event, someone approached me and excitedly asked, “Are you Lynn Tokarczyk?” When I told them no, they proceeded to explain that they “MUST meet her—because Lynn knows everybody!”

The lesson I’ve learned from Lynn is that networking isn’t solely for my benefit; it’s for the benefit of others, too. Lynn shares what she knows. She gives of her time and energy. And she makes others feel seen and heard.

And the work she has invested in her unique networking process has established her reputation as one of Massachusetts’s top tax incentive advisors!


Nurture Your Inner Networker

I know that not everyone is a natural networker who enjoys regular social engagements. But you don’t have to be a publicity seeker to build a robust community of business connections.

  • If you’re uncomfortable approaching strangers at an event, plan to raise your hand and ask a question during a presentation instead. A smart, thoughtful question will likely attract others to you when the presentation ends, saving you the discomfort of initiating a discussion.
  • Attend the next event alone if that will force you to connect with others. Or, if you feel bolder with a familiar face nearby, bring a colleague whose energy makes you feel more confident in starting conversations with new people.
  • Go to meetups with a clear goal. Start with a plan to meet six new people, perhaps, then prepare an exit plan so you don’t get stuck in a single conversation and miss out on other connections. 

As you become more comfortable with new networking experiences, you’ll find your circle broadening organically. With persistence and dedication, you’ll soon be someone others know by name and get excited to see!


Social Engagement Is an Ongoing Commitment 

Making new connections is the first step, but you can’t stop there. Consistent follow-up is key to building a strong, reliable network. After all, what’s the point of a large network if you sit back and let it dissolve?

You don’t have to bombard people with outreach, but you do need to grow and nurture your new relationships over time. Maybe you meet someone different for coffee each week or offer to help on a new contact’s project.

I like to reach out to people on LinkedIn, sometimes simply to say, “I read your last blog post and thought it was excellent! I’d love to catch up over lunch!”

Don’t overthink it. Whenever someone wins an award, publishes a great post, celebrates a win (or even experiences a loss), reach out. Drop them a line. Leave a comment. Send a quick text. This is one communications strategy that should be straightforward and simple—not stressful!


Get Back Out There with Goodwin

Networking events are back in full swing, and Goodwin Consulting can help prepare you to show up, share what you know, and establish strong connections through smart social engagements.

Work with our team and watch your business change for the better!