When it comes to making it in many jobs, or just out there in the world, you have to network. However, merely saying ‘go out there and network’ isn’t as easy as it sounds, after all, you’re trying to connect with a diverse range of people. However, there are various ways of networking smarter, just like anything else. There’s a kind of process that will help you to make your communications more productive, and even alleviate some stress when it finally does come to solidifying those connections.
Start with the people you know
Sure, networking is about making new contacts and expanding your professional relationships. However, where could be better to start than the people who are already working around, alongside, or with you. It’s an excellent place to start, as you can practice your networking skills without having to hurdle over finding someone to meet in the first place. Make sure you have those relationships mastered, maintaining them even as you expand your horizons.
Keeping up with the diary
The worst thing you can do is start forming a relationship with someone, and then let that relationship disintegrate without giving it any attention. When leading a busy life, it’s tough to keep up with everything, that’s why the good old fashioned calendar was invented. Why not make sure that you have birthdays, events, and significant dates in your diary so you can appropriately respond or congratulate someone. It shows people you’re making an effort, which can go a long way.
Don’t be too obvious
Of course, everyone knows networking is supposed to be a two-way street, getting together with people who can somehow help or enrich a business. However, if all you can talk about is your business and how they may help, then it’s not likely to go down well. Don’t simply ask someone what they do, take an interest in someone personally, and get on a more connected level, don’t be afraid to get to know someone.
Make the most of the internet
People who wish to network are blessed with the internet. Online applications such as Linkedin are perfect for people trying to network, and if you use it properly, can be totally invaluable to the process. It’s an easy way of rekindling lost contacts, discovering new ones, and maintaining them all in one place.
Get social at events
Say yes to networking events. There’s no point getting shy or worrying about having someone to go with. Everyone attending a networking event is there to meet people in some form or another. Be friendly and open, and try to be relaxed; the more you do this, the more approachable you will look. Also, if somebody wishes to talk about themselves, their business, and all things about them let them. You will have all the information you need, and they will likely feel positive about the conversation.
Keep your contacts current and up-to-date
As terrible as it may sound, you need to maintain a steady flow of new contacts. We live in a world that is continuously changing, which means your contacts need to to stay current. By meeting new people, you will stay on top of the changes in an altering world, and who’s going to be opposed to meeting more people?
Networking comes more naturally to some more than others, but following a few simple steps can help you to succeed better.