Do you have the expertise and credentials to build your business but don’t know how to start to build your network? It is very difficult to have a successful business without the right connections.
Read on for 6 tips that will help you build your network. You won’t even have to unleash your inner Rico Suave.
Use What You Have
Remember that you won’t necessarily be building your network from zero. You already have a valuable network of friends, relatives, co-workers, and acquaintances.
Take advantage of this. These are the people you already know and hopefully already like. Don’t be afraid to ask them if they can set-up a meeting or refer you to the person you want to connect with.
But here’s one extra tip if you are contacting a childhood friend you haven’t spoken to in years. Start by reassuring them that you are not trying to get them to join a pyramid scheme (Trust us, they’ll think it).
Find about the local organizations in your area and determine the ones you are interested in. These can be local college alumni clubs, entrepreneur groups, event planning associations, etc.
Then get involved as much as possible. Attend some of their events, subscribe to their newsletters and volunteer your services.
This will help to give you a helpful and reliable reputation. The organization will be happy to refer you when the opportunities arise. They will even be more inclined to use your services for future events.
Keep Up to Date
One needs to stay on top of what’s happening in their field. Subscribe to the relevant newsletters and platforms to see what’s new and who are the people you need to know about.
This will help you get an idea of who is in your community and even provide an avenue for you to get into contact with.
An added benefit is that you can use the latest news to start conversations with the people you meet at networking events.
Don’t Be Selfish
Networking is about building relationships but it should not be a one-sided relationship. Both you and your networking buddy should be gaining from the connection.
Yes, you are networking to grow your business but remember they are too. There is no reason that both of you cannot gain value. Try to find a win-win situation. Offer support when necessary. Your networking contact will be happy to return the favor. This will forge a greater bond and a more satisfying connection.
Keep in Touch
Another important element of a good relationship is to keep in touch. You can’t have a network if you don’t put any work into it. It is basic networking etiquette.
Touch base when you can, even if it is to say you are glad you met them. Share information on new technology and events.
Be consistent about it. Follow up. Don’t just talk the talk at networking events, but walk the walk after. Or should we say, work the network? Don’t let all your effort in making the contact go to waste.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects are the buzzword these days and for good reason. You don’t have to wait for the next networking event or group to make a connection, why not organize one on your own?
You can establish your networking group using the relevant platforms. Then you can create different events or group discussions on different topics.
People will naturally seek you out even more because you are the leader of the group.
Building a strong network is the best thing you can do to build your business. And if you follow these 6 simple steps, you will be on your way to doing so!
Related: 5 Creative Ways to Get More Clients
Do you have any other tips for building your network? Share in the comments!