Don’t view networking with trepidation as creating a network can be overwhelming, but an opportunity to develop professionally. It may take time to bear fruit, but you get the hang of it with time and have a more impressive network beyond your imaginations.
Random scrolling on Facebook cannot be equated to a professional network growth attempt because building such a strong network takes time and resources. The wrong approach can either stagnate your business or kill it. Therefore, you need strategies and knowledge on how to grow a professional network, and here are a few tips to employ.
What is the Best Way to Expand Your Professional Network
1. Deepen existing relationships
The network does not mean the quantity of following, but the quality is of more importance. Your focus should not only be on doubling your numbers but developing a relationship with the connections you have. Be consistent in reaching out to your contacts not because you have something important to pass on but maintaining the relationship.
Cultivate a culture of communicating with your connection or colleagues, even when you don’t need anything from them. Also, know the people you are connecting with well before meeting for meaningful interaction.
2. Positive attitude and Flexibility.
A positive attitude and Flexibility will save you many career headaches because not all people are willing to connect. Networking is a two-way process, and you should prioritize your connections depending on the job you intend to do. Your target network should be of those relevant to your work so that your efforts are strategic.
On sites, personalize connections with potential contacts to send a message that you are not just connecting with anyone. Your connection message should be brief and on point but don’t go into too much detail at the beginning, and you can offer your email as a point of contact to make it more personal. Be brief, give a unique reference to the target, and indicate that you are trying to build a mutual relationship.
3. Be Credible
You intend to gain from the network you build, and you should also be a resource for them by providing a topic of benefit to them. Please don’t rush the process as it takes time to gain credibility but let it happen naturally. Do your research for best practices, gain experience, and only contact people to share the experience.
Be active on Twitter or LinkedIn, and build your knowledge. Share ideas on topics that are beneficial to your connections to keep you motivated and engaged. Be ready to assist anyone who seeks your help or even without seeking it. If you spot an opportunity where you can be productive, make good use of it.
4. Find networking events and attend
The easiest way to grow a network is by attending a professional network event relevant to your work. Network events are designed to discuss common interests, and it makes for a perfect growth opportunity for you and your connections.
If You have no idea how to find relevant events, look online like on LinkedIn, Meetup, or Eventbrite. A search for your career field will indeed turn up with events near you or online.
5. Open Yourself to related industries.
Once you gain popularity in your industry’s network, don’t stop there but be open to relating with other relevant professions. You can join other systems that serve your interests and hobbies and contribute as it will enlarge your connections.
6. Pursue volunteer opportunities
Volunteer opportunities are often ignored, but they are essential when building connections. Join an organization or group that ventures on some of your passions. Most professional events are likely to be locked to small talk and frustrating for those looking to make deeper connections with people of like minds.
Charity work gives a more open opportunity that can build stronger and deeper relationships with like-minded people. Building relationships with people from different backgrounds with yours makes your network more robust, which is not only limited to your career.
7. Learn new Things
Although it is essential to focus on your area of expertise, it can contribute to stagnation. Be ready to get out of your comfort zone to broaden your skills to expand your professional connections.
Engaging in other professional disciplines opens your gates for new contacts, knowledge, and relations. Attend a conference or event that is out of your expertise and use it as a valuable source of new connections.
You may be wondering what the best way to expand your professional network is but the above will guide you. Although there is no particular right way to do it, don’t limit yourself to a few ways but explore any possible way to gain connections and better your business. Keep your social links open since they can refer you to potential contacts in your desired industry.