So, this week I am looking at WHY networking can be so beneficial.  
Now, you might be sat there thinking why on earth would I want to spend value business hours chatting to strangers. You might think that by using social media and having a very good website you have done all you need to do to get your business out there.  
But I am here, even as a web designer, to tell you that that is not the case. 
Networking is a long game; you are not going along to make a huge sale on day one or to find the perfect opportunity right away. However, over time I have found it to be one of, if not the, most successful methods for growing my business in the local community.  
Much of my business comes from networking with a huge variety of business owners. Sometimes it may be providing a website directly to the person I have met at networking, but more often than not it is a lead that comes from my business card being passed on. 
It is important to remember that it is not just the people in the room that you are connecting with, but also all the people that each of those attendees know as well. And the more you build relationships with those attendees, the more likely they are to recommend you to their personal network.  
In this way, by taking the time to invest some effort into relationship building, you can create a team of advocates who will promote your business to others they meet. 
The power of personal connections and personal recommendations cannot be denied.  
When you go for dinner you choose the place that your friend has recommended or the one with the good TripAdvisor reviews. The same is true in business, we are much more likely to buy from someone who has been recommended to us by someone we trust. We are also more likely to buy from someone we have met and connected with in a personal way.  
Businesses might be broadly objective, but their owners are people and so are as subjective as anyone else when it comes to choosing who to buy from. 
So, when you are in that room meeting with business owners and showing them your real personality, you are allowing them the opportunity to become emotionally connected. This is a much more powerful way to market your business that simply showing why they should objectively choose your service over another.  
And if you aren’t in that room and your competitor is, then they are the ones making that connection, not you. At the end of the day, people buy people, not products. 

Your Partnerships 

This week I am introducing you to Your Partnerships, this networking group was founded as a response to the often rigid and traditional networking opportunities locally.  
Starting in Cornwall, with the addition of the Devon arm just under 12 months ago, the group now has partnerships stretching out across the South West and beyond.  
With the team of David Brock (Cornwall) and Lee Randall-Pybus (Torbay and Teignbridge) at the helm, the group is sure to go from strength to strength. The group offers a huge range of networking events so there is something for everyone regardless of what time of day suits you or what style of networking you prefer.  
You can see a montage of networking events that have taken place around the Exeter and Torbay region below.  
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