Networking is an art that can bring a world of difference if done the right way. According to LinkedIn, 70% of professionals hired in 2016 had a connection at their company, and 80% of professionals consider networking vital to their career success. So, what is the right way to network? The key to getting the results you’re looking for is by nurturing new connections and relationships.
Being consistent and passionate when making new connections is good in theory, but taking concrete steps to grow your professional network makes all the difference. Here are some tips on professional networking to build new connections.
Tap Into Current Connections
The best way to meet new people is through other people who you already know! By attending events, conferences, or even activities with a friend will give you access to a whole new circle. Once your foot is in the door, be authentic and listen enthusiastically.
Go into each interaction with the right mindset. Remember, Givers Gain, and you’ll have greater opportunities to build trust when people know you’re here to help. Share your values and inspiration within your network. The more you are involved, the more you will get visibility and recognition.
Don’t expect networking to be a magic wand. Devote time to building your social space. Share your thoughts, be authentic and answer queries on social media platforms and in-person whenever possible.
Virtual Networking Groups
For the hardcore introverts, there is virtual networking. Be a part of an online networking group and start building your connections. Prepare well before your regular online meetings.
In the same way testimonials influence a purchase decision among customers, your success story can influence your connections. Not only does it help build your credibility, but also offers a way to remember you by.
Know Your Network
People come from different backgrounds, and their experiences in life also differ. Remember to be a good listener and try to understand their interests, likes, and dislikes. Being able to recall these details helps to build the foundation for a long-term relationship.
Follow up for a Reason
Sometimes when you strike up a conversation, you discover interesting information that provides an opening to follow up. This allows you to reconnect with your new connection without it seeming like badgering, and helps nurture your relationship.
Use Social Media
Use social media to tell others about your industry, what you do and what changes you can make to their lives. With a consistent effort to create meaningful relationships, you can build your network through social media.