There’s a famous saying that “Networking is not about collecting contacts. Network is about planting relationships”. This quote itself is enough to prove how influential networking can be when it comes to businesses. The initial stage of networking may seem easy but it all lies in maintaining and expanding them, simultaneously. This article deals with 5 secrets that you can actually implement to grow your professional network like a whiz.
5 secrets to expanding your professional network
- Maintaining existing connections
- Social media Networking Advantages of Social Media for People and Businesses
- The Give and Take policy
- Out-of-office network hunt
- Attending both offline and online networking events
Maintaining existing connections
Maintaining a relationship with trustworthy connections is one of the most important tasks of growing a network and shouldn’t be neglected at all, at any cost. It might sound like a difficult task to accomplish but definitely not. Maintaining the existing network is absolutely doable if your approach and the level of interaction with them are always on point.
All you have to do is to figure out your style of networking and implement certain strategies for maintenance. Below are a few tips which you can implement in your maintenance of networking.
Tips to maintain existing connections
- Contact them frequently via social media so that you can stay in touch with them on a regular basis. At the same time, never fail to sense and respect their privacy
- Congratulate them on their recent successes and updates. If you can appreciate their achievement by gifting them with office planters (professional as well as eco friendly at the same time).
- Discuss recent business trends and current affairs with them. Also, try to indulge in healthy debates and group discussions together.
- Always maintain a spreadsheet to update the recent networks
- Send them holiday emails and handwritten notes.
Social media Networking
There are more than hundreds of options available on the platter when it comes to social media networking. So, make utmost use of it wisely. If you want long-term networks through social media, be clear with your networking goals while approaching them. Apart from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, there are other updated networking sites like Clubhouse, Influencer, Rumble, etc, which are proven as user-friendly.
The Give and Take Policy
Always remember that long-term networks stay only if you invest your effort and time in them and not just merely getting help from them. Never ignore their needs and goals. Always be ready to lend them your helping hands when they require one. This act will definitely pay you off and this is how mutual confessions develop.
Out-of-office network hunt
You can always end up with potential networks if you hang out in professional places like Open coffee clubs, Museums, wine bars, golf clubs, etc. All you have to do is to approach in a friendly yet professional manner.
Attending both online and offline networking events
Both online and offline networking events have their own merits and demerits. It is never a waste of time if you attend both as the main goal is all about expanding and growing your network. Make use of social media platforms to attend networking events and collaborate with new clients. Meanwhile, some of the efficient offline networking events include Luncheon meetings, career fairs, silent auctions, etc.
Things to avoid during networking events
- Not having an ice breaking conversation before discussions
- Remaining awkward and silent during important convoy
- Approaching the attendees with irrelevant ideologies
- Waiting for other attendees to approach you first.
Steps to simplifying networking
- Keeping track of new and already existing networks
- Switching to e-visiting cards from paper prototypes is cost-efficient and can give them direct access to your professional portfolio.
- Being active in networking websites
- Hanging out with your potential online networks in places of common interests.
Networking is not only about building contacts but also about having a great mindset. People with a growth mindset always get potential clients as they have a positive outlook about work and life. So always remain optimistic and consistent throughout your business journey so that you can master both the written and unwritten rules in the book of business.