networking

The Definitive Guide to Networking Part I: Top 6 Biggest Misconceptions

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Up to 85% of jobs are filled throughnetworking

The top 6 biggest misconceptions of its value therefore, lie in people’s perception of it

Networking for many, serves as a productive means to grow work opportunities and cement business relationships, but for a big portion it’s less an opportunity than an idea; straddled somewhere between a to-do list chore and a benefit with no tangible return.

This ambiguous area of modern business -similar to flexible work environmentsand digital workspaces- can ignite a sense of community in an industry known (and loved) for its independent freedom; or further solidify misled opinion.

So with clarity being key to realising the value of areas like these, here are the 6 biggest misconceptions about networking. 

1.     Networking is self-serving or selfish 

A networking event isn’t about milking a professional’s resources on a one-man goal to get work, it’s instead a mutually beneficial opportunity for two professionals with skills of comparable value, to meet and open a dialogue in pursuit of a long-term relationship resulting in work prospects.  

2.    Successful networking means immediate work 

Some networking can lead to a quick turn around, but much of it can often be long-term with relationships developing organically over time.

Often these types of relationships are the ones that yield the most pivotal and rewarding work; so remember to trust the process, keep the dialogue open and shift your focus from achieving quick results, to nurturing relationships that can open doors in the future.

3.    Networking events are large and daunting

There are many ways to make connections and strengthen your skills in ways that are productive for you. The variety of events include industry-specific talks watched by like-minded professionals, Linkedin group forums, happy hour meet-ups and creative Round Table events aimed at help creatives with queries and direction.

4.     To make networking a success you have to be an outgoing person

Networking is often seen as a by-product of an intrinsic outgoing character trait, but in reality, it's a skill that can be developed with practice and experience.

Once you’ve targeted your desired sector and found the type of event within that industry (as outlined in 3) that works for you, be clear on what you want to get out of it.

Are you looking to grow your clients or get a job? Form relationships or air some skill-specific questions? Having a clear agenda that you’re armed with when attending events, will enable you to target and hone your networking skills.  

5.    Focusing on your strongest, most apparent relationships is key to networking success

Focusing onyour strongest, most obvious relationships, such as professionals within your wider circles, leaves a mass of untapped potential work elsewhere.

Broaden your perception to extend to industries that are less apparent of needing your skillset, and you may be surprised at how much demand there is for your line of work.

Many unassuming sectors have a huge demand for skills but not the resource to accurately find them.

6.     Networking is purpose-built and targeted

Not only are 85% of jobs filled through networking, but a portion of this comes from no specific event in particular, instead, a disposition of being open-minded to opportunities.

Although one opportunity may not be exactly what you’re looking for, it will introduce you instantly to a wider circle of people, all with connections, contacts and fellow professionals working across multiple sectors.

Being open-minded to less apparently useful opportunities is crucial to growing a healthy diverse circle of contacts. 

The value of networking lies in the work, experience and relationships it can yield, proving it as indispensable

The Best Networking Events to Attend in London for Entrepreneurs, Tech Start-Ups and Small Businesses

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When you are starting a business one of the most important elements for your marketing and promotions strategy should be networking. We can spend a lot of time thinking about our grand ideas, products and plans, but we learn a lot about our business when we speak to others articulately about it and generate interest through our face to face relationships in real time. 

Here are some of our favourite places to find networking events for entrepreneurs, tech start-ups and small businesses in London.

Where to Find Networking Events for London Entrepreneurs

Silicon Drinkabout by 3 Beards

We had to add this to the list. We love the Silicon Drinkabout for its informal structure and its fun crowd of like-minded of entrepreneurs and techies. Plus, they meet weekly in different locations all over the world, so you’ll never run out of new faces to meet on a Friday night, wherever your business takes you.

Your Co-working Space or Serviced Offices

Make sure to regularly check your favourite co-working space for some great events and networking opportunities. You are sure to keen entrepreneurs and business owners with whom you can develop some strong connections. For example, WeWork and The Office Group host fantastic workshops, breakfasts, and events for their members to socialise and meet with others in a relaxed and informal way.

Google Campus Events

The Google Campus is the perfect hub for tech start-ups. Entrepreneurs can attend workshops and classes while also providing the space and events to find your next investor, mentor, founder or recruit. Networking with a dose of digital learning included.

Alumni Events

Graduate from a university? Or maybe you have a friend who has? Perhaps you finished a short course or qualification certificate? We find keeping in touch with your school networks can be a goldmine for building conversations, as you often already have a common link. Find your local chapter and see how you can get involved.

Meetup and EventBrite

We like using Meetup and EventBrite when we are searching for specific industry events to go to. Looking for a networking event specifically for female founders? Or do you want to share a pint chatting with people in your niche industry? There are new meet-up groups popping up everyday and these are great for targeting connection with people just like you.

Local Community Groups

Don’t underestimate the power of networking and connecting with local players around you. You never know how you may be able to help and serve members of your local community with your business and vice-versa.

Remember, social isn’t the only type of networking for entrepreneurs. Sometimes, a business can't be built behind a laptop alone. Get out there and take to real, live people to help build and strengthen your business. And when you need operational support to ensure your start up is running smoothly while you make connections, make sure to contact us at sales@costartupandgo.com to help with your virtual support needs.

Did we miss an event source or do you host a networking event that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments. 

The Key to Networking Successfully as an Entrepreneur

Networking entrepreneur

For any entrepreneur or business owner, networking is an essential element to success. It not only brings the potential for building contacts within your industry, it also provides opportunities to gain prospective clients and customers.

MANY ENTREPRENEURS SEE NETWORKING AS A CHALLENGE

Oftentimes  it can be nerve-wracking entering a room full of strangers and try to get them interested in who you are and what you have to offer. If you are naturally introverted, then networking can feel like even more of a daunting feat.

However, the benefits of networking for entrepreneurs and their businesses are so great, that it really is important to overcome the challenges and get it right. Having spoken to several key networkers across a broad spectrum of industries, the one key piece of advice to stick to when networking is this:

ALWAYS GIVE MORE THAN YOU RECEIVE.

If you want to be successful at networking and make real relationships that can benefit you - take YOU out of it.

When you walk into a room full of strangers at a networking event, the main goal should be to meet people you find interesting and see how you might be able to help THEM. Make it about their needs. Don’t make it about what you can get out of it.

If you stick to this key rule when networking, then you make real connections, and those connections will be clamouring to get back in touch with you - where you'll be inundated with ways you can partner with each other. From there you can grow a relationship that is mutually beneficial.

Three Types of Events Every Start-Up Should Organise to Grow Their Brand

Events for Start-Ups

When thinking about growing your brand, most entrepreneurs solely focus on several aspects of digital and online marketing. Social media, SEO, website presence, PR, PPC advertising, and online relationships are of course important. However, events are one of the most effective ways to build brand loyalty and engagement. Taking your marketing strategy offline and building face-to-face interaction with your clients, customers and partners can provide tangible value to your business.

So what type of events should you organise? Here are three simple events that will connect you to your audience and will over time help build a healthy return on investment.

The Launch Event to Showcase a New Service or Product

If you are at the beginning stage of your business or if you have a new product or service to promote, this is the event for you. You can use this type of event as a showcase for customers to peruse your offerings at their leisure or you can present some type of workshop to deliver high-value information to your customers as a taster. Moreover, the launch event helps to establish you and your company as an authority in your niche. It’s best to piggy-back off of existing larger networks here, so call up your favourite co-working space or community centre as a venue to host. (Check out Launch 22 for some great start-up events!)

The Networking Event to Establish Interest

The networking event is a crucial event for any company. When you bring like-minded people together, you are able to generate new ideas, learn about what your ideal customers’ problems are, and simply just give people an opportunity to mingle and exchange ideas. Your business now becomes a facilitator of innovation and a hub for opportunities. Who doesn’t want to invest in a company like that?

The VIP Event to Boost Customer Engagement

Everyone likes being rewarded and offered perks. Use this type of event to express gratitude to your best clients, customers and partners. Word of Mouth is still one of the most trusted methods of effective marketing communication. Or you can offer this type of event as a bonus, as a premium that people buy into, or as an unexpected perk of purchasing your product or service. In addition, you can get first hand feedback and input on how and why your offering works from people who are already buying from you. Win-Win.

What type of events do you use for your start-up? Do you need help organising events for your business? Email us at sales@costartupandgo.com or head to our 'what' page to discuss how we can help in a free consultation.

The Key to Networking Successfully as an Entrepreneur

networking for entrepreneurs

For any entrepreneur or business owner, networking is an essential element to success. It not only brings the potential for building contacts within your industry, it also provides opportunities to gain prospective clients and customers.

However, many entrepreneurs see networking as a challenge.

Oftentimes  it can be nerve-wracking entering a room full of strangers and try to get them interested in who you are and what you have to offer. If you are naturally introverted, then networking can feel like even more of a daunting feat.

However, the benefits of networking for entrepreneurs and their businesses are so great, that it really is important to overcome the challenges and get it right. Having spoken to several key networkers across a broad spectrum of industries, the one key piece of advice to stick to when networking is this:

ALWAYS GIVE MORE THAN YOU RECEIVE.

If you want to be successful at networking and make real relationships that can benefit you - take YOU out of it.

When you walk into a room full of strangers at a networking event, the main goal should be to meet people you find interesting and see how you might be able to help THEM. Make it about their needs. Don’t make it about what you can get out of it.

If you stick to this key rule when networking, then you make real connections, and those connections will be clamouring to get back in touch with you - where you'll be inundated with ways you can partner with each other. From there you can grow a relationship that is mutually beneficial.

The Best Networking Events to Attend in London for Entrepreneurs, Tech Start-Ups and Small Businesses

networking around a table

When you are starting a business one of the most important elements for your marketing and promotions strategy should be networking. We can spend a lot of time thinking about our grand ideas, products and plans, but we learn a lot about our business when we speak to others articulately about it and generate interest through our face to face relationships in real time. 

Here are some of our favourite places to find networking events for entrepreneurs, tech start-ups and small businesses in London.

Where to Find Networking Events for London Entrepreneurs

Silicon Drinkabout by 3 Beards

We had to add this to the list. We love the Silicon Drinkabout for its informal structure and its fun crowd of like-minded of entrepreneurs and techies. Plus, they meet weekly in different locations all over the world, so you’ll never run out of new faces to meet on a Friday night, wherever your business takes you.

Your Co-working Space or Serviced Offices

Make sure to regularly check your favourite co-working space for some great events and networking opportunities. You are sure to keen entrepreneurs and business owners with whom you can develop some strong connections. For example, WeWork and The Office Group host fantastic workshops, breakfasts, and events for their members to socialise and meet with others in a relaxed and informal way.

Google Campus Events

The Google Campus is the perfect hub for tech start-ups. Entrepreneurs can attend workshops and classes while also providing the space and events to find your next investor, mentor, founder or recruit. Networking with a dose of digital learning included.

Alumni Events

Graduate from a university? Or maybe you have a friend who has? Perhaps you finished a short course or qualification certificate? We find keeping in touch with your school networks can be a goldmine for building conversations, as you often already have a common link. Find your local chapter and see how you can get involved.

Meetup and EventBrite

We like using Meetup and EventBrite when we are searching for specific industry events to go to. Looking for a networking event specifically for female founders? Or do you want to share a pint chatting with people in your niche industry? There are new meet-up groups popping up everyday and these are great for targeting connection with people just like you.

Local Community Groups

Don’t underestimate the power of networking and connecting with local players around you. You never know how you may be able to help and serve members of your local community with your business and vice-versa.

Remember, social isn’t the only type of networking for entrepreneurs. Sometimes, a business can't be built behind a laptop alone. Get out there and take to real, live people to help build and strengthen your business. And when you need operational support to ensure your start up is running smoothly while you make connections, make sure to contact us at sales@costartupandgo.com to help with your virtual support needs.

Did we miss an event source or do you host a networking event that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments.