Networking experts from LinkedIn, private clubs in London and authors of books on the subject, talk about the best ways to make connections and collaborations.

In June, Ladbroke Grove’s Grand Union Studios hosted the Business Insight event “It’s Not What You Know, But Who You Know”, run by Workspace in conjunction with Knowledge Peers. The evening explored the power of business networks and offered Workspace customers and local businesses plenty of advice on constructing their own personal web, as well as a chance to quiz a panel of experts:

Ashraf Kamel, Head of Sales at LinkedIn, Linzi Boyd, author of Brand Famous and partner of global business consultancy Shirlaws Group, and Nigel Stowe, formerly of The Ivy and the Arts Club, and now Director of the club at Hotel Café Royale.

Here’s what they had to say about networking – both online and offline.

`The LinkedIn evening


Find your networking style

“I used to do every social media under the sun, but I realised I’m more of a people person. I love to physically meet someone and talk to someone… I still find that point at which you sit and chat the most productive.”

Nigel Stowe

Be prepared to prune

“I like to clean up my network once a year because I want to keep it to people who can activate me to impact on their business, or who I can use to impact on my business. So if somebody doesn’t help me, they’re not going to be on my network.”

Ashraf Kamel

Establish clear goals

“Ask yourself, what are you coming into this room for? What’s your objective? Let’s say you want to speak to the guy from LinkedIn – make sure you enter the space and make that happen. Then everything else that happens in the room is a bonus for you.”

Linzi Boyd

Social media can open doors

“I used LinkedIn to introduce myself to people, then I’d send afternoon tea to their desk… Then they’d start tweeting to us, then they’d invite us in to have a conversation with us about their brand. It just proves that conversations are now created in completely different ways and if you can engage people in that moment… who’s to say who you can and can’t work with?”

Linzi Boyd

Consistency is key

“Your digital personality should reflect your real-life personality. You wouldn’t go up to someone and say, ‘Can I add you to my life, please?’ That would be awkward. So however you like to introduce yourself [in real life], whether you want to be funny or serious, do the same digitally.”

Ashraf Kamel

Work at it

“At the end of the day everyone wants to get a group of people in a room and have a chat. Someone needs to host it and work it. You physically had to work that room at The Ivy, and it’s the same with a network.”

Nigel Stowe

Be strategic

“The people on my Facebook are very specific to my network, so when I launch my book it goes to number one within 24 hours, not because I’ve got thousands of people on my network but because every single person on there has got a huge channel, and they really buy into my brand and my purpose and what I stand for, and then they sell it.”

Linzi Boyd

First impressions matter – even online

“There are a lot of people that you will meet but haven’t yet, and the first impression you’re going to make is through your
digital identity.”

Ashraf Kamel

If you’re a Workspace customer and you’d like to come to our next quarterly Business Insights Dinner, keep your eyes peeled to our Events calendar, which is packed with insightful workshops and seminars held at many of our business centres each week.