Expanding Your Business Through Networking

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Expanding Your Business Through Networking

If you think that the way to earn more money in your career is to learn a skill like coding or SEO, think again. According to an article on the Fast Company website, the skill you’ll most need to get ahead is networking. Having a large network of contacts means you’ll always have someone to call when you need a job, a mentor, or just some advice.

If you’re new to the networking game, the following information will help you network better and more efficiently.

Where to Find Contacts

According to an article in Forbes, there are a couple of places you can look for contacts if you don’t know where to start. First, you can network with people you know from your college network.

These can become especially important contacts if you graduated from a prestigious school. Even if you didn’t, your former professors and colleagues will often know about conferences you can speak at, journals you can write articles for, or businesses that offering mentoring. Take advantage of these connections and be sure to be the same kind of connection for others.

Second, think about your own network. Is there someone you can mentor? Can you teach a class? Provide an introduction? All of these activities can strengthen your business network.

Finally, sponsor an event or donate to a cause. Charity events are an excellent place to meet people who might work in your industry and need your services. As a bonus, these events attract people who are passionate about a cause, which means you’ll spend the evening talking about something other than business. In the long run, this is a better, more subtle way to market.

Who Can Accelerate Your Goals?

Entrepreneur suggests that networkers have some ideas about the people in their industry who could boost their career. It could be a boss. It could be an industry professional they’ve been introduced to. It could be a blogger they follow. If you’re trying to build your network, you should connect with these people.

Keep in mind that not all of your contacts will be for the sole purpose of selling them something. These people could act as mentors to you or help you set up a class in the community that could expand your network.

Looking at the people on this list requires you to really think about your goals and how these people would fit into them. This act makes you really clear on what you hope to accomplish.

There is a flip side to finding people who can immediately help you. The people you network with may have issues of their own that they need solved.

When you meet people in your industry, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is how you can help them. Your help doesn’t even have to be professional help. It could be helping them find a general practitioner doctor or a babysitter for Saturday night.

Contacts like these become more personal. They also prevent you from looking like the only reason you’re networking at all is for business purposes.

One final thing to keep in mind. You must approach this type of situation with confidence. As Lularoe founder DeAnne Stidham discovered, if you want to be known as someone who gets things done, you must act like you are. Even if you are not 100% sure if you can help the people in your network, it’s important to have the confidence that you can.

Final Words

Networking can be simple. It might be a matter of truly connecting with just a couple of people a day to offer them help or to ask them to mentor you. Networking can also include you keeping in contact with your college friends and professors or attending charity galas.

The most important aspect in networking is that you do it sincerely and on a regular basis. Think of it this way, if you collect just three business cards a day, you’ll have over a thousand contacts by the end of the year. And these won’t be just any contacts. They’ll be people that you’ve talked to, helped, and connected with in a very real way.

By  Robert Cordray Embed

About the Author - Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. He currently resides in the Southern California area and spends his time helping consumers and business owners alike try to be successful. When he’s not reading or writing, he’s most likely with his beautiful wife and three children.


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