Do you know someone who seems to know everyone? Someone with a seemingly endless network? I sure do! Whenever I need a recommendation, I call my friend, Kim. If I am looking for a realtor, photographer, web designer or basically a lead of any kind, she knows the best person for the job. She has, by far, the best network of any person I know.
Your network can determine your success! You may have graduated at the top of your class and have a great skill set. You could have eagerness and drive. But without connections, it is difficult to get your foot in the door. Knowing the right people in the right places can enable you to land that dream job, acquire that ideal client and really excel at what you do!
In an internet–driven world there are no shortage of social networking sites. But for all the networking benefits that exist on the internet, nothing can replace the benefit of face–to–face connections.
These contacts offer something unique, something personal. Your contacts offer something important and even exclusive, just for you. Your network is the key to your success!
So, wondering which doors to knock on? Try starting with these simple tips to build a network that will propel you to the next level.
Begin right where you are.
Start with the network already around you. Family, friends, former co-workers and people you already share activities with are already in your network. Are you doing all you can to utilize these connections? Concentrate on people who can help make a difference in your career.
Embrace social opportunities.
Join a sport team or book club or volunteer. Make the most of parties and social get-togethers. Every conversation is a “sales” conversation – designed to sell YOU! Everywhere you are, strike up conversations with those around you. Learn their names and remember details about them. Even if their field seems very different from yours, you never know when they could have a lead that could benefit you.
Make it happen every day.
Set aside time every day to focus on network building. Depending on where you find yourself in your career, this can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. Follow up with people you have met at meetings or social gatherings. Visit a local job fair. Explore fun opportunities or learning experiences to make connections.
Provide benefit to others.
Find ways you can encourage others in their business. Listen to what is important to them. Send them clients, share a promising lead with them. People will never forget the person who helped them out and they will be a part of your network for life!
Stay up to date on the current trends in your industry. And learn about other industries as well, especially those closely related to yours. Subscribe to newsletters and read articles. Make knowledge a priority.
Start your own networking events.
Don’t wait for the perfect network. Create one! Develop opportunities for different types of fields. The bonus? You will be seen as a leader and become more sought after for your innovative skills.
Remember, networking isn’t just about what you can get from your contacts. It is also about what you can give, who you can connect to another person, and how all these relationships can mutually benefit one another.
Look to build your network with diversity and integrity, offering great value to those around you. Work to be that person who knows everyone and soon everyone will be contacting you!