The Power of Networking: How to Build Valuable Connections
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Career Tips - March 8, 2023

The Power of Networking: How to Build Valuable Connections for Business Success

Networking gives you the opportunity to meet new people, expand your circle, and build valuable connections. It may be a daunting task but it is highly essential for achieving business success.

The benefits of networking are limitless. From building relationships to generating leads, and advancing your career, networking is the tool you need to establish valuable connections. 

Building valuable connections allows you to expand your network, gain new opportunities, and learn from others. As we explore the power of networking, we will provide tips on how to build valuable connections for business success. Let’s dive in:

Attend events

Building a valuable connection for a successful business requires that you attend events, seminars, industry events and conferences. When you attend events you will be privileged to meet like-minded people. Beyond that, you will be privileged to learn great ideas from them. Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft, met Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person for the first time at an event in New York. Speaking about their meeting, Gates wrote, “As soon as we shook hands, it was clear we had a ton in common. We both started successful businesses in the late 1970s. For our second act in life, we both chose to start foundations aimed at improving health and education. More importantly, we both love to geek out over things that make some people’s eyes glaze over, like cement, fertilizer, and iodized salt.”

Make up your mind to build valuable connections when you attend your next event. Don’t just sit in a corner with a gloomy face. Wear a smile, be warm, exchange contacts and be willing to share ideas. 

Be active on social media

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram are great places to build valuable connections. This is because you can connect with people in your industry, share your expertise, and build relationships. The story of Emmanuel Nduka, the pioneer of the student’s voice on Linkedin is a worthy one. Nduka was privileged to meet with Tony Elumelu,  chairman of the Heirs Holdings, United Bank For Africa (UBA) and Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation after one of his LinkedIn posts. The brand influencer shared a picture of himself and Elumelu, and people asked him for his red socks and bag. He reposted the picture and explained the difference between him and his mentor. The post attracted Tony Elumelu and he was invited to a mentorship session, that would later give Emmanuel success in his business. 

Like Emmanuel, you could use an active presence on the social media platform that suits your personality to build valuable connections and network your way to success.  

Offer value

From sharing your expertise to providing referrals, or offering a helping hand, networking requires that you offer something of value to your connections. Ndubuisi Ekekwe, founder of First Atlantic Semiconductors & Microelectronics – West Africa’s leading embedded systems company has met with several industry leaders and billionaires through the value he offers. 

Speaking of his meeting with Bill Gates, Ndubuisi said he prepared well for an important event that was attended by Bill Gates. He noted that he gave his best to the presentation that Bill Gates approached and commended him on the good job he did with it.

With Tekedia, a platform which covers news, tech, business, startups, etc across Africa, Ndubuisi has garnered an audience from all works of life. So, as you desire to build valuable connections, build yourself to offer value to everyone you meet.

Nurture relationships

Networking is not a one-off thing. It requires nurturing. This means that you will have to keep in touch with your connections. It also requires that you are genuine, honest and transparent because authenticity is important when nurturing relationships. The relationship between Femi Otedola and Aliko Dangote is one that has been nurtured over the years. Following their meeting in Surulere, Lagos 25 years ago, the both of them have cultivated their relationship into something really beautiful. 

After meeting someone at a business event, conference or seminar, you must follow up with a personalised message, express interest to stay in touch and ensure that you stay in touch. Also check in periodically, share updates and offer to help where necessary.


After meeting Dangote, Bill Gates announced a joint, five-year $100 million commitment to reducing malnutrition in Nigeria in 2016. On the flip side, Dangote has collaborated with the Nigerian government and other foreign establishments to achieve some of his business goals. One such is his collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), to achieve efficient and environmental-friendly haulage across the country. 

To achieve business, you must identify opportunities to collaborate with your connections on projects, events or other initiatives. This will help you strengthen relationships and create new opportunities that will result in business success.

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