There are many ways building a strong professional network can benefit your business, ranging from opening doors you never knew existed, to receiving quality feedback and advice from successful entrepreneurs. You should always be working on the development of your professional network. If you feel at a standstill or don’t know where to start, these five network boosting tips might be helpful.
No matter how good your business model is, if people don’t know you exist, growth becomes difficult. However, this doesn’t always mean getting out there in person. Instead, it means making use of email and the various forms of social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As long as you are staying in contact, people are going to remember you, it’s as simple as that.
Most industries today have trade shows and conferences. These create amazing networking opportunities for you. You may also find a number of local events held on a regular basis filled with people in your line of work that you need to get to know. There are also countless online forums and chat groups you can participate in. Take time each day, or at least each week to “hang out” in these places and use them to make connections.
One very important thing to remember about professional networking is that your efforts should not always be about you. You likely have a lot of experience and knowledge as well, so be sure to take every opportunity to share what you have with those who can benefit from it. By taking the incentive to help others, you may soon find they respond in kind, which in turn will go a long way towards building your professional network.
Making the initial contact with people in your line of work is only the beginning. However, it takes time to build those long-term relationships that result in making better business deals. Keep your focus on building long-term relationships that are going to benefit both sides. You should always strive to create a two-way street for any and all professional business connections you make.
One of the most common reasons business connections and professional networks fall apart is that someone fails to follow up and stay in touch. If you return home after a conference or trade show with a handful of business cards, the last thing you should do with them is to toss them in a drawer. You took the time to meet these people and get their cards, now take the time to email them; let them know it was a pleasure meeting them, and let them know how to reach you.
One very important thing to remember in the business world is that the old adage “It’s not what you know, but who you know” has a lot of truth behind it.