While the concept of networking may make some people squirm, it is an essential skill for anybody serious about a career in accounting or finance. Whether you are just starting in your job as a bookkeeper, growing in it after gaining experience as an accountant, or going on a whole other path, networking is essential. Your professional and personal networks may hold the key to uncovering new career prospects.
Some of the critical business networking tips that you can use to do accountant networking the right way are as follows:-
- Expand your networking horizons
You can start creating connections with other business experts such as bankers, financial consultants, and entrepreneurs. They frequently have connections with other business owners or high-net-worth people who want bookkeeping and accounting services or tax guidance.
Some accountants and bookkeepers avoid networking with one another because they see other accountants and bookkeepers as “competition”. However, other accountants can prove to be excellent sources of recommendations. They can also provide knowledge on current trends, best practices, and new tax legislation.
2. Prove yourself to be a good resource
Effective networking is a two-way process. You cannot just reach out for help whenever you need something. If you expect your network to help you out when you need them, then you also need to prove yourself to be a great resource to your network. This can help you to build good relationships within your network.
For example, you can introduce the people in your network to a great recruiter you’ve worked with before. These introductions create the basis for developing connections, which can lead to more opportunities in the future.
One of the most common networking blunders people make is getting too obsessed with self-promotion and failing to interact with others at networking events truly. Rather than just concentrating on yourself, you should approach each networking encounter with the intention of giving as much as you get.
3. Network online
Accounting professionals have traditionally depended on in-person events conducted in offline mode to grow their businesses. However, online networking has become equally popular in recent years, especially since the Covid 19 pandemic. Online networking can be just as, if not more, successful if done correctly.
Here are three crucial internet networking pointers for an accountant in London:
- Know how to use social media platforms
Each social media platform has certain advantages. Facebook, for example, is excellent for fostering community. Instagram is a great place to use visual material to raise brand recognition. Twitter is ideal for short exchanges, whereas LinkedIn is ideal for deep thought leadership.
Indeed, most people don’t have the time to learn everything there is to know about all of the social media sites. In that case, you can choose to excel in a few social media platforms only.
- Actively partner with others.
Don’t just “like” other people’s posts and schedule a few posts of your own. Genuine involvement is required for effective social networking. Create and share useful material, reply to comments and mentions, and share and remark on others’ articles. Schedule time for interaction daily, just like you would for any other essential work.
- Demonstrate your personality
People usually trust other people more as compared to companies. Your social media content can also include your hobbies and sense of humor to create a good and effective network. It can also help to project your true personality along with your professional personality.
4. Be true to yourself
Be yourself! Authenticity is vital in networking.
The trick is to create a good and lasting network is to be true to yourself. Don’t try to imitate an outgoing personality or act in a character you believe others will like. Instead, focus on your talents.
5. Concentrate on connecting rather than networking.
Taking the time to listen and engage with other professionals at networking events genuinely may set you apart from the other accountants who are simply interested in getting something out of each contact.
You will come off as a lot more natural, likable, and memorable if you focus on interacting with people one-on-one rather than attempting to pitch yourself.
Never dismiss someone just because they are unable to assist you today. It’s critical to be kind and considerate in your dealings. Someone who doesn’t have a job opening right now could remember you two years from now when they do.
To connect better with the people that you meet through email, you can use the following tips:-
- Within 24 hours, send a follow-up email to the person.
- After a networking event or meeting a new, potential person, the efforts you put in afterwards are just as essential as the initial connection. Don’t wait for others to contact you. Instead, take the initiative and send them a brief thank-you email.
- Avoid utilising a generic email template and make each email unique. Some of the items you can add in your follow-up email are your name and the occasion where you met this individual, a nod to anything you talked about in your chat and an action step to get things moving in a great direction for you.
6. Try to get a competitive advantage over others.
You can focus on your professional growth and network with other accounting and financial experts by making the most of the professional development opportunities you get.
Some of the networking blunders that you can try to avoid are as follows:-
- Leaving the networking reception before a corporate event.
You can arrive early before a session even begins and get a chance to chat and connect with the speaker of the session or the other attendees.
- Keeping your circle of friends small.
Your network should include not just your peers but also other professionals with various degrees of expertise. You should look for possible contacts outside of your field because you never know who may have other great networks.
- Don’t become a thorn in people’s sides.
While it’s critical to connect with individuals in your network frequently, avoid becoming excessively pushy and causing a disturbance.
- Not respecting your network.
If someone in your network is helping you out with something, let them know how much their assistance is appreciated. To show your appreciation or gratitude, you can consider sending a short thank you email or message.
- Giving up.
Learning how to network is a valuable skill to have. Even if the people you meet are unable to assist you, keep a good attitude instead of giving up. Keeping your network and having a positive attitude can eventually lead to other opportunities in the future.