In this world of innovative technology, businesses born every single day, and an infinite pool of young and driven entrepreneurs, you will need all the support and companionship you can possibly get to help your business or product stand out from the crowd.
Having a large pool of networks will make your journey smoother and faster. Sometimes networking and connecting with the right bunch of people can seem to be harder than we think - and we are not encouraged to actually go after it - when in fact it is so easy when done right.
I came to notice that to be noticedquickly and effectively, one should give before expecting to receive.
A fellow entrepreneur of mine did just that. His goal is to be an internationally renowned author, and to achieve that he started to give before expecting to receive, with the genuine intention of supporting amateurs and fresh businesses. And so he supported different athletes, filmmakers, and artists by funding their initiatives.
Soon enough, his name was everywhere: in the end credits of films and in press releases. By the time he will have his books published, people will already know who he is, and he will have the support of those he once supported as well.
The theory is very simple: build your network by being generous. Simply share different people's work. Don't just give your readers a spa voucher for sharing your blog post or following you on Twitter - although that seems to be very effective on the fashion and beauty blogosphere.
As a young entrepreneur and writer, the perfect gift anyone can give me is publicity, and this goes, too, for budding artists or filmmakers. And the best part is that it is for free. Share a link of their work on your blog or Facebook page. Re-tweet their latest articles or film link. And most importantly, mention them to your colleagues who are looking for someone in their field.
It is vital to keep in mind the value of networking to your career. Share the work of artists or people you would like to get to know more, and make sure they know about your support and admiration. Perhaps you could send them an email telling them that you admire their work and have shared it.
But there are also other ways as well that would help you to establish and build your business network. You could start at home. Share your siblings' or friends' photos or events on Facebook. Mention or re-tweet a follower's link on Twitter.
If you are a published writer, use it to your advantage and highlight budding entrepreneurs and new initiatives. If you have the chance, interview them. Not only will you be boosting their work, but more people will know about you when they share the article. Remember to email them a copy of your work in case they missed it.
If you do not have press connections and know someone who does, mention the work of your new favourite artist, business venture to them, and then you could email them telling them how you admire their work and that you have recommended it.
Refer a creative person to a client who is seeking a service they offer. This is a golden rule I follow, and now I automatically pass out contacts of different Emirati artists for those who seek creative work. By doing so I feel that I not only supported a person, but gave back to the community, by sharing its people's initiatives.
If you work in an organisation, and have an intern or apprentice, recommend them on your LinkedIn account, or mention them to colleagues elsewhere. You never know who could be hiring. A friend of mine tweeted that her friend was looking for a job, and within a few hours, someone replied back stating that her organisation was looking for someone like her. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth.
Last but not least, it is important to keep in mind that the best way to inadvertently market yourself is to sincerely promote others.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and fashion designer based in Abu Dhabi