Do you network every day?

How often do you network? Daily, Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly?

I suspect you may be underestimating just how much you already network, and where and when you’re networking. It’s always more than we realise.

In a poll I ran on LinkedIn, 86% said that they weren’t networking daily.

Source: Networking frequency LinkedIn poll, June 2024

I beg to differ with these numbers.

And the reason I disagree is that it comes down to interpretation of the definition of networking and what it entails, which will vary for each of us.

Many people still view networking as a specific go-to task, like event attendance or posting on social.

But networking is a much more organic and frequent (and valuable) than we give it credit for.

In short, networking is really just about connection and relationship-building – often with a view to sourcing solutions. We obtain the right idea, product, service, support, experience or snippet of information when we reach the right person. It’s a simple equation

Relationship = Solution.

And sometimes, it’s literally just about conversation, whether small talk or more meaningful discussion. In its simplest form, its about befriending people, sometimes with a defined purpose, sometimes less so. And is definitely not all about work.

The fact is we network informally by the very act of communicating with folk in different circles every day. We’re likely to belong to multiple connection bubbles, circles of interest, and social groupings that connect us by an interest or common purpose. From the playground to the chartered institute of xyz dinner, the trick is not to look past all the existing networks within which we may be active.

The foundation of networking is simply to lift our heads up from our work (or device!) and allow new conversations to occur – both with strangers and existing contacts (which I would call re-networking).

It is not just about attending an organised and structured event, handing out business cards like they’re sweets, shaking hands, connecting on social media and then ticking the ‘Networking done for the day’ box.

Add to this a regular dip into online networking waters – a like, comment or share on social media – and hey presto – you’re networking again.

Blended networking – combining online as well as in-person networking – can be quick and easy. Showing up on social networking platforms builds our identity and deepens relationships with those we’ve met – or are yet to meet or interact with. Even if you’re not posting, and you’re just liking, commenting or sharing, it forges another layer of interaction and connection with the parties involved.

Social networking is like the glue that makes existing in-person networking and interactions more sticky – i.e. stronger bond, not uncomfortable!

It can fill the gaps to help you remain consistently visible if you can’t attend meetings or events in person. It’s like the extra filling between the bread and butter of event attendance – that real meaty ‘keeping in touch’ stuff. Or – depending on your business type and location – it may work the other way round ie. Online touch points with in-person fillings.

So, unless you’re really not going out, not going online, not answering calls/texts/messages, and not lifting your head – then you are already networking much more than you think you are.

Time to bin the poll statistics I’d say and crack on with some conversation. On or offline. Allocate time to it, recognise the circles within which you already exist, and enjoy it in a natural, human-to-human kind of a way where initial contact that might develop into more interesting interactions, valuable conversations and deeper connection.


Kirsty James is a networking, relationship-marketing and connections expert with a track record in supporting people to ‘Connect with Purpose’. Kirsty specialises in effective business communication and relationship-marketing using the power of networking to enable personal and business growth and community engagement. Offering networking skills training, workshop facilitation, event hosting and speaking, and marketing project management.

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Kirsty James is a networking, relationship-marketing and connections expert with a track record in supporting people to ‘Connect with Purpose’. Kirsty specialises in effective business communication and relationship-marketing using the power of networking to enable personal and business growth and community engagement. Offering networking skills training, workshop facilitation, event hosting and speaking, and marketing project management.

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