The Importance of a Network

Your network is the most powerful asset you have for creating opportunity and becoming more successful. I believe the calibre of people you associate with, will not only reflect on you, but will have a direct impact on your opportunities.

**This blog post is for people who are new to networking or want to know exactly what it is.**

20 years ago networking wasn’t even a chapter in a marketing book, yet today organised networking is now a multi-million pound industry with hundreds of different organisations providing events with their variation on format.

You can network for breakfast, lunch and dinner and all the gaps in-between and we have already seen the emergence of professional networkers (They used to be called brokers) who represent several clients at these events.

Right now every single one of us, to a varying degree is connected online, the world has changed so quickly; yet I find it baffling that some still resist taking social media seriously as part of their marketing strategy.

So what is networking?

Networking for me is the art of developing relationships and growing your contact base with the intention of building trust so you become easily referable. It is about widening your sphere of influence so you grow in reputation.

Important bit: Your network is NOT about your current job; it IS about your support infrastructure for the rest of your life! You don’t suddenly stop knowing people when you change job roles and if you think about it the people you know and have connected with on Facebook, twitter etc will be a mixture of family, friends, colleagues and those you met in a business context.

But we have always networked, haven’t we?

Yes of course we have, people have been recommending good people since year one. When friends ask you to recommend a good builder that is exactly what you are doing, networking. You just didn’t know it had a title until recent years.

We have always given preference to people we know, like and trust we just didn’t understand that this was something we could do strategically and on purpose. Now armed with improved understanding of the importance of your network and the knowledge of how to grow it and nurture it there really is no limit to what you can achieve.

So where can I network?

Absolutely anywhere! Some of my best relationships have happened by chance for example on an Easyjet flight or returning from Eurodisney on Eurostar. You just have to be open to conversation.

‘Great conversations start with great listening and uncover great opportunities’

That said the easiest place to make a start is at a networking event. Just the fact that people are there for the sole purpose of meeting other people is a good start. But often these events are facilitated, accelerating the process of relationship development.

Do however take time to understand the etiquette. It is not an environment to sell! In fact people who turn up at an event randomly handing out un-requested business cards are basically spamming and will have the opposite effect to building a relationship. I see this all the time at my own Connections events, people stood by the door handing out their literature or card as people walk past.

There are many networks in the UK, some are international, some national and some simply local and independent. The key to finding the right group for you is to shop around and visit several groups in your area. Take a look at

The decision will effectively make itself when you assess where you feel comfortable, spot opportunities for collaboration and feel your values are aligned with the personalities in the group.

Many thanks for reading this and whether you are new to networking or an experienced collector of people I wish you every success!


Warren Cass is an international speaker on Influence (Communication, networking and social media) – Take a look at his latest best-selling book ‘INFLUENCE’ here. You can follow him on twitter @warrencass