Strategies for Building a Powerful & Dynamic Network
In the new era of networking – we are faced with rapidly changing technology and diminishing attention spans where even the most talented businesses and people get lost in obscurity. A strong network has many benefits – enhancing your visibility, extending your reach and creating opportunities for you in the short and long term.
Building a robust network requires hard work, patience and creativity!
Networking requires you to put in the effort that most people would not, to foster lasting relationships with new people.
A simple quote that we like: Your NETWORK makes your NET-WORTH, WORK.
What does a network look like?
A network can include family, friends, past and present coworkers, teachers, social media contacts and those you regularly engage with – even if you’ve never met them face to face.
In an increasingly digital world, it’s not just who you know, but who they know that will bolster your network.
1. Ask for Referrals – help others first!
An excellent place to start is to ask your family, co-workers and associates for contacts whom they think would be beneficial for you to know –
‘Who else should I be talking to?’ is an excellent question to use when asking for referrals.
When you can meet the contact, make a good impression and provide immediate value to a new connection.
This means the moment you identify an opportunity to help them – take action!
Connecting with people not only feels good, but you’ll also have the opportunity to refer your contact to other like-minded individuals, perhaps. In this way, you become a credible and valuable resource over time.
Concentrate on forming long term relationships that will mutually benefit both sides. Make a conscious effort in establishing a two-way street for all professional connections.
2. Tips to Use LinkedIn Effectively
LinkedIn is a social network platform that focuses on professional networking and career development.
It is a great way to build your professional network, search for jobs, and enhance your professional reputation by posting updates and interacting with others.
Use your best picture and make sure it’s professional – no wine glasses, selfies and awkwardly cropped photos. Include a simple cover photo that and aligns with your industry.
Create a concise summary that showcases your professional identity. The summary should highlight what you’re in it for and describe your passions and career goals.
When sending a connection request, add a personalised note that will help build a relationship with your contact down the road. It is an excellent opportunity to set yourself apart from the connection requests they receive.
Regularly post interesting content – if you’re not one for creating your own, share articles that you resonate with and add your thoughts to start a conversation.
3. Attend Networking Events Online & Offline
Every industry has relevant industry events and conferences that provide excellent networking opportunities.
There are also local meet-ups that hold regular events that are a great way to build your network
For those who aren’t confident in their ability to start conversations at networking events, the rise of webinars and zoom meetings are a great way to begin immersing yourself in industry events.
4. Clean Up your Social Media
No matter how much work you can put into creating an online presence via well-written resumes, compelling reach out messages, professional LinkedIn profiles, this can all be undone with a simple online search.
CareerBuilder surveys reveal that 70% of employers research candidates on social media.
If you’re not careful about what you’re sharing online, it could hurt your chances of growing your network with potential contacts.
Make sure to either not post your weekend antics, disparaging comments, racy photos, or change your privacy settings to “Friends Only/ Only Me.”
5. Follow Up with Everyone You Connect With
If you attend a networking event, whether online or face to face, make sure you follow up with the connections you make.
If you’ve received some business cards, send an email letting the person know it was a pleasure meeting them. It’s also an excellent opportunity to let them know to reach out to you if there’s anything that you can assist them with.
Also – if you’ve promised to do something… make sure you do it!
There’s nothing worse than meeting someone and not following through with something you told them you would do. This creates a terrible impression.
6. Never Be Afraid to Ask
This is a short and sweet tip.
If you want something… simply ask for it!
Want advice or feedback? Ask for it
Want an introduction? Ask for it
Want a meeting? Ask for it