5 Ways to Build Your Network from Scratch
Networking is key to creating job opportunities and growing your career potential.
But if you’re just starting, you’ve moved cities, or you have had a break from the workforce, you might not be sure where to begin to build an active network.
Try these simple tips to connect with the right people and start a new circle of professional relationships.
- Start with who you know
Even if you’re starting from scratch, you’ll be surprised at how many contacts you already have. Sit down and make a list of all the people you can think of from your colleagues and clients to friends, neighbors and college professors. Think of what connections you might be able to make.
Start building your LinkedIn network with people you know, and it will gradually increase over time. Participate by liking and sharing posts and articles and follow industries, influencers, and organizations that interest you. Before you know it, you’ll find people are sending invitations to connect with you.
- Commit to connect
Decide that one of your first goals is to do something positive every day to reach out and build your network. This can range from following up contacts from meetings, trade fairs or conferences, checking in with LinkedIn connections or old colleagues and clients.
Keep an eye out for professional courses and conferences where you can make new contacts.
- Join your college or university alumni club
Most colleges have alumni clubs, often with national or international reach. Find out if there’s a chapter in your town and join in the various club activities. There is a range of events from professional speakers, to social or sporting. It’s a natural fit for networking, as you’re all starting with something in common.
- Join an industry or professional group
Most industries have professional associations. Connect with your local group and find out what they have to offer. Chances are they will run learning and development opportunities, lunches and dinners, and maybe a directory.
- Expand your social circle
If you’re new in town, you might be wanting to make new friends as well as professional connections. Join a book club or a sports team, or sign up to learn ceramics, or find a writing group. Check social media for expat groups who don’t just meet online, but often organize all sorts of social occasions. Making contacts will not only make you feel less lonely but can hook you into all kinds of local opportunities.
Growing Your Business
Using Social Media
Facebook has over 2 billion daily active users, YouTube has almost 2 billion active users, Instagram has 1 billion, Twitter has 262 million, LinkedIn has 303 million, and Pinterest has 250 million.
Why all these statistics about how many social media users there are?
To make one, powerful point: your customers and potential customers are DEFINITELY on at least one, if not more of these social media platforms.
With such a staggering number of people on social media every single day, it is a POWERFUL way to grow your business.
Social media platforms allow you to attract new customers and connect with audiences that you never would otherwise.
Not Working Networking
Go-Getter, Helper, Promoter, Skeptic. Everyone is different. Look up anything about personality types, and you’ll find a wide variety of different options. With such widely different personalities out there, any encounter can feel challenging,
…especially in a room full of strangers.
In the world of networking, this can make things a little complicated. Not everyone is an extrovert or someone who can wander into any room and make a friend of everyone there. Introverts make up 30-50% of the population. This means one third to one half of us has likely struggled to fit in at one point or another.
When you’re trying to network, learning the social graces which will enable you to optimize your interactions becomes crucial. This is especially true if you’re not a social butterfly.
Most people who struggle to fit in often question whether networking is even worth it.
In this package, you’ll learn strategies to be successful as a networker including:
• Prep (before event)
• Showtime (the event)
• Follow up (after the event)
It is possible to become a skilled networker, even if you feel like you’ve always lacked the skills or ability. Take a deep breath and dive right in. It’s time to shake off whatever preconceived notions have been holding you back.
Isn’t it time you learned the strategies to become a power networker?
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