Understanding the top 7 benefits of Networking in the fashion industry is very important when it comes to business growth. This is because it helps you understand what you stand to gain if you do things the right way. It simply involves building long term relationships within and across various niches in your industry. Networking is as simple as meeting and getting to know people who you can help, and who can potentially help you in return
Hence, it should not be confused with selling. If your main aim of networking is to get people to buy your products, you are going about it the wrong way and will surely yield little or no results.
Who is your network? Your network is basically everyone you know. It is important to note that some networks are more profitable than others; that is why you should learn how to build a profitable network. That said, your network includes everyone from family and friends to work colleagues, business connections, your social network and members of groups to which you belong (including social media groups). There are numerous benefits of networking but I am going to be highlighting the top 7 benefits.
Top 7 Benefits Of Networking In The Fashion Industry
#1) It Allows You to Help Others
Like I mentioned earlier on, networking is primarily about rendering help to others. It’s just like in business. The only way you can make money out of your ideas is if you can find a problem that people have and find a solution. When you aim to help others, you naturally make money in the process. While you should be as professional as possible, helping someone makes them indebted to you. That way you’re essentially building an army of raving fans who see you are their ‘helper’. When you help someone first, even before asking for something, they are more inclined to not see you as someone who just want to make more sales and will easily promote you to their audience.
#2) It strengthen business connections
As a business owner looking to network actively, you should have it as the back of your mind that networking is about sharing and not taking. It is you, putting yourself out there to make meaningful connections that are mutually beneficial. When you help out a budding fashionpreneur even with something that cost you nothing, there are quick to become your allies and point customers to you whenever they can. See it as reciprocal assistance.
#3) It helps you get fresh ideas and stay updated
Trust me, it is very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of your business realm. While this is not your fault, because you want to make it so bad and bury yourself in work. It is easy for you to become an old dog in this industry, if you don’t make a conscious effort to update your knowledge. But when you have a network that actually works, you can easily get new perspectives and ideas that will be beneficial to your business. It is very common to exchange ideas, information and challenges in networks and all these things build a kindred spirit among members and help you know how to deal with challenges when they come your way. You’d even be free to ask for opinions from contacts you trust or admire. This can help you see things in a new light and avoid pitfalls that you might not have recognized otherwise.
#4) It helps you build authority and advance your career
When you intentionally network, you build your reputation as being knowledgeable, and supportive even without you deriving any gains. It increases your visibility and you profit off it when you start getting speaking engagements. Regularly attending professional and social events will help to get your face known. Even if you are part of a virtual network and drop nuggets of wisdom whenever you can, others in your network will begin to see you as an authority in your niche. I am a living proof of this!
#5) It gives you access to a greater audience and even more sales
Do the math. If you have 10 people in your network and those 10 people have 10 people each in their networks, see where I am going with this? You increase your reach and essentially make more sales. Networking opens doors to even job opportunities. You’d be the first person that will come to mind if there’s an opening and someone in your networking gets wind of it. People in your network can also be great ambassadors via word of the mouth referrals or even public appreciations (testimonials). At least you see those ones on social media. It is more likely for someone to patronize you when someone they already know, like and trust tells them that you are the perfect fit and hold the solution to their problem.
#6) It helps you build confidence (even if you are an introvert)
A lot of business owners would rather stay in their shells because they are introverts. But built in networks brings people out of their shells. When you meet people you’ve known virtually for a while, it removes the awkwardness and you flow more freely. After a while of continually putting yourself out there and meeting new people, especially if you learn to do it the right way, networking will come easily to you. Networking makes you effectively step outside your comfort zone, and helps you build invaluable social skills and self-confidence that you can take with you anywhere. The more you network, the more you’ll grow and learn how to make lasting connections.
#7) It helps you develop strong personal relationships
Don’t get this wrong. Networking is about building and nurturing professional relationships. However, these relationships are with people who have similar goals, interests and are generally like-minded. So what starts as a professional relationship might someday evolve into a personal relationship. And that’s okay, as long as it isn’t detrimental to your business. Personally, I have made friends with people from my network and some of them were once solely customers.
In conclusion, these top 7 benefits of networking in the fashion industry, are only achievable, if you know how to network properly. Thankfully, I have a FREE 6 day email course that teaches; the rules of networking, how to network effectively and build a network from SCRATCH and how to PROFIT off your network if you already have one. It will cost you nothing to take this course but is guaranteed to positively affect your business.