Remember the age-old saying. It’s not what you know, but who you know that gets you places in the world of business. But finding those make-or-break contacts is a challenge in and of itself, and the skill to network is not necessarily an easy one to practice.
Some people are just social butterflies who can gather friends like Henry VIII gathered wives. Others, however, may need a bit of help.
For those new or unconfident in the realms of networking and contact creation, fear not. For listed below are a few strategies that can help you gather more and more professional links that can help you and your career.
4 Ways to Better Networking
1. Create Content
One way to quickly make a name for yourself in your chosen field is to be proactive in creating content within it.
So, for example, if you’re in marketing you may want to consider writing articles in which you examine and analyze different marketing techniques and their effectiveness. If you’re a budding animator, create animations in your spare time and upload them for people to watch. If you’re a journalist, then do some freelance reporting on a blog, or submit articles to a website.
Doing so will quickly draw the attention of other people and give them an idea of your work and your expertise in it. With that comes the opportunity to make connections.
This is good practice in general, as such activity can help you refine your skills for your chosen profession but keeping active within your field is a great way to meet new people within it. Of course, you must do it regularly, as much as once a day in certain cases, but the results quickly pay for the effort made.
2. Attend Conventions and Trade Shows
If you get the chance, take the opportunity to attend business conventions held within your area. Sometimes your place of work may also be willing to pay to send you out to them if they can be convinced that the potential gains would outweigh any costs.
These events are quite literally made so that people can come together from across the nation, or even across the globe, to exchange contact details, network and develop connections that help improve their respective business.
As well as this there are often many workshops, keynote speeches, and seminars that you may find more personally helpful. Also, the conventions are usually quite fun to attend in and of themselves.
3. Make Use of Social Media and Apps
Much as with creating content online, you should also keep an active presence on any social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Doing the rounds on here raises your public profile, and increases your chances of stumbling across promising figures.
Share content on these platforms, whether it’s content you’ve created or found, and use the opportunity to reach out to other like-minded individuals. LinkedIn is especially useful in that regard, and you should exploit it fully.
Make use of apps that help you network as well, such as Covve’s address book app. These help you find, manage and keep in contact with everyone you network with, and can prove invaluable in keeping on top of your growing collection of names, numbers and email addresses.
4. Seize Every Opportunity to Network
You never know when you may encounter someone who could make a fantastic contact in your line of work.
One day you may be sitting in a coffee shop, get chatting to someone there and then find out they’re in a very important position in a company that deals with a service you’re particularly interested in. But how can you make sure they won’t forget you?
Again, address book apps like Covve are a great way to record impromptu contacts and their details, ensuring they’re never forgotten. You can then contact them at your leisure.
If you’re feeling particularly old school, you could even consider printing off a load of business cards. While smartphone apps are more modern, the humble business card still very much as its place within the world of networking.
Never underestimate the power of a palm-sized piece of card with important details on it.
Don’t be shy in these circumstances either. While you shouldn’t try to force it unnaturally into conversation, always do bring up your profession and position if the topic leads in that direction. Mention what you do, and make that your opening to offer an exchange of details.
If you never ask, you never get.