Networking is a great tool to generate leads for your business, to connect with different suppliers and traders, to build a rapport with your competitors and other bigwigs in your industry to enrich your knowledge and sharing. What about networking outside your industry? Knowing or meeting people from diverse industries will help you with a job in case your industry hits rock bottom and will also add to your skill set. For eg, a real estate agency wants to learn the nuances of SEO and social media marketing, which they believe can help their builder clients!
How and why you should build connections outside your industry:
- Revisit Your Existing Connections: in order to explore new professional connections, revisit your existing ones. You will that 80% of your connections are from your industry, but some of them would know people from a different industry. Feel free to ask for a recommendation from the outliers in your network. Maybe they can suggest who you could meet. Dive into your archive of contacts old school/college friends who working in a different industry. It will be great to start with someone you were previously acquainted with. Even if their industry is not what you are targeting, they will know someone you would be interested in.
- Meet People While Pursuing Your Hobbies: Gyms, dance/music classes or even social clubs like the Rotary/Lions Club are best places where you can strike up a conversation with people working in a different industry. The plus point here is that you get to meet them often.
- Get A Different Perspective About Your Business: If you are looking for a different and genuine insight into the successes and failures of your profession, an outside eye is always helpful. It might be outside your comfort zone, but in the long run, it will pay.
- It’s Not Always About Immediate Return: At the end of the day, don’t think of it as a mere professional connection; in fact, it is a bond of friendship. A bond or a relationship which is pursued not just for business gains but also to expand your thinking or understanding about that particular industry or to discover some hidden potential or interest lying dormant with you, with regard to that industry.
Start looking outside if you still haven’t started. You never know, where and when, which connection might help?