Building a solid and expansive network is imperative to the success of your trade, whether as an entrepreneur or a professional. About 85% of vacant job positions are filled via networking.
You can have all the right skills and education, but without proper networking, all of it can go to waste.
A strong network helps establish your personal brand, grow your trade, and increase your expertise. However, for most people, building a robust network is easier said than done. If you don’t know how to build your network, we’re here to help.
Today, we’ll be showing you how to establish and grow your personal network for a thriving career or business. Without wasting too much time, let’s dive straight into it.
In the digital age, the best place to build a proper network is the digital landscape. The internet has provided a platform to interact with people hundreds of miles away. Leverage this borderless communication tool to build and grow your network via virtual networking.
Remember, your network doesn’t have to consist of people you’ve met in real life. You can build a robust network with people you’ll never meet, ever. Plus, there are tons of platforms for you to interact with new people that can help grow your trade.
A few platforms you can use for expanding your network are Linkedin, Facebook, Meetup, and Wistia, to name a few. However, if you’re a professional looking to interact with other professionals, you should give a try.
Find What Moves Your Heart
You can only build a passion around something that you’re passionate about. Take an introspective look at yourself and ask yourself, “what industry am I most interested in?”
Give this a lot of thought before deciding on a niche.
You may be passionate about a few things, but it’s best to stick to one niche for starters. That way, you can build on one niche before moving on to another.
Establish and Grow Your Online Presence
We already talked about getting online, but getting online is just part of the process. Next, you have to establish and grow your online presence. There are plenty of ways to do this, but the most effective are:
- Creating social media accounts and posting regularly
- Writing blogs and guest posts
- Creating your own website
Establishing an online presence helps cement your position as an authority in your niche. It also exposes you to other professionals looking for individuals to network with. Invest in your online presence and watch your network grow.
Attend Networking Events
If you want fruitful and legitimate professional connections, look further than networking events. Both physical and virtual networking events are incredible sources for building professional networks. There are dozens of national and professional networking groups that will gladly accept your membership.
Remember to keep an eye out for these networking events on social media or the internet. They will give you a proper support system to grow and build your network. If you don’t find solid connections, keep attending these events until you strike gold.
Start By Helping Them Out
In life, you can’t ask random people for favors without giving them something in return. The same goes for networking. You can’t expect to create a solid relationship with professionals and businesses without something to offer.
Remember, you’re dealing with people who work busy schedules and have no time to waste. You must have something worth squeezing into their busy schedules, or they’ll show you the door. The best way to create rapport with a potential connection is by introducing yourself, your skill and telling them how you can help them.
Alternatively, you could ask them whether they have a particular problem with something that touches on your niche. If so, you can suggest ways to solve the problem or solve the problem yourself. This is one sure-fire way of establishing a lasting business relationship with a connection.
Comment on Your Connections’ Achievements
Any business or professional would be quick to post their achievements or milestones on social media. This isn’t showing off but is a way to advertise their value proposition to customers and clients.
Instead of huffing in envy, take time to congratulate your prospects on their achievements. You don’t have to overdo it; a simple “congrats” comment will do just fine. However, consider contacting the connection and congratulating them in person for a lasting impact.
This simple gesture will show the connection that you’re on the same page with their goals. Just like you’re rooting for them, they’ll also root for your success.
Consistent communication is the only sure way to maintain your current network. It’s not uncommon for robust networks to peter out because of a lack of proper communication.
You can communicate through the phone or via email. Remember to keep your message brief and concise to maintain a healthy work relationship. Avoid using platforms that would otherwise seem unprofessional or lean towards the personal.
Feel free to ask your network questions or ask for help whenever necessary. After all, you built a network to help you reach your professional goals.
Communicate With Content
Sparking the conversation with connections can be a serious challenge sometimes. Remember, you can’t pop into their inbox with a casual “hi” or “how are things going?” Communication with connections must be professional unless in an out-of-business setting.
So, how do you start the conversation when you don’t have something worth talking about? Easy, share a piece of content that the individual might be interested in. This content can be a blog post, research paper, or even a news article; anything to get the party started.
If you can’t send the link to their email, tag them on social media posts and like their comments. Doing so is an excellent way of showing that you value their feedback while attracting other connections.
Add Value to Your Connects
Don’t adopt a selfish approach to building your network. Add as much value to your connections as they do to you. Show genuine interest in whatever they do and find a way to help them in their endeavors.
Be open to sharing ideas, experiences and offering your skills to anyone that needs them. You probably have a lot to offer in your professional capacity. Who knows? You could even become a mentor.
Offering value to your connections is a great way to expand your network. That’s because one of your connections will connect you to another relationship, and so on. Networking should never be a one-way street that only serves your purpose.
Get in Touch With Your Previous Contacts
You may have cut communication with one or two previous contacts. Later on, you realize that this person might be an integral part of your network. You’re looking to rekindle your previous relationship but don’t know where to start.
Rekindling a propitious professional relationship is always a good idea. That said, here’s the right way to re-establish relationships with previous acquaintances:
- Acknowledge the time difference since you last spoke
- Clearly explain the reason why you didn’t reach out
- Celebrate any achievements by the contact since the last time you were in touch
- Share something that may interest the connection, like a study or blog post
- Ask for their opinion and ask whether they’re okay with meeting up
Reconnect with old contacts to expand your network without any new additions. This is one of the easiest ways to build your network.
What Are the Benefits of Networking?
A personal network is far from a gimmick. Building the right network could do wonders for your business or career. Here are a few benefits of creating a proper network.
Helps Build Your Career
We already mentioned how most job seekers land jobs through networking. Attending networking events will make you a familiar figure and connect you with the right employees. You can also learn a lot from your network to take your career to the next level.
Is Great for Boosting Confidence
Attending social events to network means getting out of your comfort zone to realize your true potential. The more people you interact with, the more knowledge you gain, and the more confident you’ll be. You’ll also build lasting connections, which works wonders for your confidence.
Get Answers to Pressing Questions
There’s a high chance that someone in your professional sphere will have the answers to your pressing questions. A good network will help you find all the answers to help you grow in your field. You can also provide valuable insight to queries that touch on your niche for a mutually beneficial relationship.
How to Build Your Network Made Easy
Now that you know how to build a network, our work here is done. It’s now on you to use these business networking tips to build a network to propel you to greater heights.
For more informative content, check out our other posts on the site.