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How often should you network to grow your business?

Networking is an effective way to grow your business, and like any other marketing activity, you should do it consistently and frequently if you want to see results. But how often is ‘often’? 

two women talking to each other at a Growth Community meeting

Be Consistent

If you want to achieve business growth from your networking then you need to set aside dedicated time regularly to build and nurture effective relationships. This includes both the actual networking events, but most importantly, the time you spend following up with the people you meet.

Most business networking events operate on a consistent basis. Usually they offer weekly, fortnightly or monthly meetings. Getting a good mix of some consistent meetings and some ad hoc sessions can be a good strategy for building relationships and expanding your network.

The important thing is to show up regularly and get to ‘really’ know the people who can help you grow your business – whether that’s every week, or once a month.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of the three main frequencies in turn to determine how often you should network to grow your business:

Weekly Networking

There are some networking organisations that believe it is essential to spend time with your networking contacts every week. Their members love the habit of meeting at the same time each week to go through the rhythm of their meeting and stay connected on each other’s goals. Their approach is usually very structured and goals driven.

Without doubt this approach is very effective. It’s a routine. Everybody knows why they are there and they manage their working week around this appointment and the expectations of the group.

However, you need to be very honest with yourself and decide if a weekly obligation is something you can commit to. Not only do you need to build the meeting into your schedule, you also need to carry out the follow up conversations and do the work to identify opportunities too. Networking is about building trust and reliability is a big part of that.

A growth community networking meeting

Monthly Networking

In general monthly networking groups tend to be a lot more social in their nature and less structured – although there are meetings out there that do offer a more structured approach. Often though, they are centred around a meal/drinks, a talk or just some open networking.

The good thing about monthly meetings is that they are easier to slot into your diary and commit to; for example it might be the last Friday of every month. Monthly meetings are a great way to get to know people in a more relaxed atmosphere and you have plenty of time in between meetings to follow up with the people you want to have a 121 with.

However, many people treat monthly meetings as their ‘I’ll go if I can fit it in’ networking so there is a lower commitment level from attendees and often less of a focus on following up. It could be two or three months before you bump into the same people again so achieving a level of consistency is more tricky.

Fortnightly Networking

Fortnightly meetings tend to be similar to weekly in their more structured and routined approach. You get to build relationships consistently with the same set of people but it’s a little more relaxed and easier to slot into your schedule. The same levels of results can also be achieved.

This frequency tends to suit people who would like the discipline of weekly meetings but know that they don’t have the capacity to commit to them. Fortnightly meetings allow space in between each session for good quality follow up but are regular enough to keep opportunities and conversations flowing.

However, like weekly obligations it is important to respect the frequency of fortnightly meetings. If you miss one or two it can be over a month between regular interaction with your group and this can quickly dilute your results (and potentially trust levels if you are perceived to be unreliable).

Social Media

If getting out to regular networking events is something you struggle with then there are other ways to show up consistently and meet people that can support your business growth.

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn are an excellent way to network and you can apply most of the same principles as traditional networking on this platform.

Make a date with yourself daily to show up and engage. That includes some consistent posting (even if that’s just once a week on the same day and roughly same time) as well as commenting on other people’s posts. You can connect with a few new people each day and drop a few people a message to say ‘hi how are you getting on’. You can also arrange a few follow up conversations either in person, on the phone or on a video call.

Find Your Networking Rhythm

So how often should you network to grow your business?

There are lots of different ways to network and there is no ‘one size fits all’ way to do it. You need to find the pattern that fits in with you.

It’s not just about how often you network. It is also about networking in the most enjoyable and effective places. That’s where you are most likely to show up as your best self and make valuable friendships. Results from networking come from the level of trust you build with the people around you.

How often you network is also dependent upon finding the right balance of time you can spend out of your business activities.

So be honest with yourself. Work out what you can commit to and do it well. Even if that is ad hoc or monthly. Just make sure you don’t miss out on the following up!

Networking With The Growth Community

We favour the fortnightly frequency at The Growth Community. Our members and guests enjoy our relaxed but very purposeful networking meetings and love the fact that they can use the week in between to arrange their follow up conversations and do the actions they said they were going to do.

We also create even more opportunity to work on business growth by making every THIRD fortnight a member only session. This gives our members a break from the monotony of networking meetings and allows them to focus on the goals they are working towards and take actions for each other. It’s also an opportunity for members to access support and get to know each other better.

You can be our guest up to six times a year and we’d love to welcome you along. All of our groups can be booked on the locations page of our website.

members of the growth community having their six weekly member only meeting

Further Resources

Keen to explore the right networking options for you? Why not have a read of some of our other blogs in our library.

Identify the right networking format for you

How to get the most out of your 121s

Ways you can build trust with your connections

Networking for startups

Learn more about Growth Community member only meetings

Why member only meetings add value to membership

Joining our Community

Nicky Thomas
Nicky Thomas is a business connector, relationship marketing specialist and Founder of The Growth Community. Networking is her happy place and she loves nothing more than to see people connect and and open up new opportunities for each other.

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Ready to join us for a meeting?

You’re just a click away from some productive new conversations. See you there!