Types of Business Networks

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  • 0:03 Defining Business Networking
  • 1:05 On The Job Networking
  • 1:43 Joining Professional…
  • 2:19 Social Media Networking
  • 3:36 Attending Meetings and Events
  • 4:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kat Kadian-Baumeyer

Kat has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management and teaches Business courses.

Getting ahead in business means knowing the right people. Business networking through job connections, social media and involvement in professional associations may open doors for those seeking new business contacts.

Defining Business Networking

Samantha is almost done with her internship at the Daily Bugle and is getting ready to start a career in journalism. Although she has done an excellent job at the Bugle, she hasn't managed to meet anyone who is willing to take her on as a full-time reporter. With few connections at the newspaper, she set her sights on business networking.

Business networking involves meeting the right people through channels that business people typically use to do business. In a word, it is like marketing yourself to fellow business people in order to connect with the right people who can direct you to new business opportunities. For Samantha, that means getting in with the right media crowd.

It sounds pretty straightforward, but it does take some doing. Samantha can start by using a few traditional sources, like friends, family, and colleagues, but that probably will not be enough. Here are several other networking sources:

  • On the job
  • Professional associations
  • Social media
  • Meetings, events and business cards

Let's see how each of these business networking opportunities work.

On The Job Networking

Samantha's internship at the Bugle gave her plenty of opportunities to meet people in her chosen industry. But Samantha did not meet as many people as she could have; she may have to work a bit harder to make journalism contacts while she is still at the Bugle. This is called on the job networking, which is in short when you meet possible contacts at your place of work while working.

One way she can do this is by looking in the company directory for those in a hiring position. She can send an email to Human Resources to put the word out that she is available for work. She can also contact the Editor in Chief to inquire about opportunities for a reporting position.

Joining Professional Associations

Most industries have professional associations that people join. These organizations are usually made up of seasoned professionals in a particular industry. The association oversees the industry and offers guidance in areas like benchmarking, best practices and trends. Joining an association is a way to meet others in the industry.

Associations usually have events throughout the year where members can get together to meet and greet one another, which is an opportunity to share experiences and even exchange business cards. What makes this type of networking so successful is that everyone in attendance has a shared passion for his or her industry.

Social Media Networking

Social media is another way to network, but this time digitally. Most of us use Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with friends and family. Did you know that Facebook and Twitter are very popular with job seekers and for networking?

Facebook allows a person to create a profile, upload images and post daily statuses and comments. You can also extend a friend request to others on the site. Since many businesses are also on Facebook, it is easy to locate potential job or business opportunities with just a click. Just remember to keep your personal Facebook account separate and private. You may not want a business contact to see your personal posts and stories.

Twitter works a little differently. This is more of a one-sentence social media source. Yes, you can connect with others in an industry and even follow them. But there are limits to the amount of personal information you can include. But don't rule it out. It is a good way to remind those you connect with that you are interested in networking.

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