The Long Game of Networking Pt. 1
The long game of networking will pay off for years to come. While you could most certainly benefit from short-term networking as well, most VAs want to be in business for the long-term. This means you’ll need a strategy that meets what you need now and what you can sustain in the future.
Let’s make the case for networking.
Most virtual assistants agree that there is value in networking. In fact, when surveyed in the State of the VA Industry Report and asked; How important is general networking to you? Over half of the respondents (52.3%) responded that networking is very important.
- 52.3% – Very important
- 42.1% – Moderately important
- 5.6% – Not important at all
However, there is a disconnect between the value of networking – which is part of marketing your business as a long-game strategy – and how often VAs are networking. If VAs only network when needed this means that getting clients in the short term is their goal.
When asked; How often do you participate in networking? The majority of those who network only do so when needed.
- 40.4% – When needed
- 27.2% – Once a week
- 15.3% – Once a month
- 11.1 – Not at all
- 6.0% – Quarterly
Having a strategy for networking is important because it’s how you will maximize your business strengths and set you above the rest. While most virtual assistants will concentrate on getting clients as their number one reason for networking, that is a short-sighted and short-term reason and benefit of networking without a strategy.
Creating the right strategy will, in fact, get you the clients you’re looking for now but it will also benefit your business in the long game. Some of those benefits include:
- Better reputation;
- Increased visibility;
- Stronger support network;
- Improved business growth;
- More impactful connections;
What all these things have in common is that this is what successful, long-game businesses possess. It’s why corporations sponsor events because no matter how large a company you build, it’s still your business’s responsibility to connect with your audience and consumers.
If you’re only networking when needed, you’re not creating long-term value, let alone long-term relationships. The best networking relationships add value and there is a good opportunity for both give and take in the long haul, not a quid pro quo.
The case for long-game networking in your business is clear.