People say time and time again how important building up your own professional network is. However, what they may not let you realize is that expanding your network is built over time, so don’t fret if you’re not there yet. There are a number of ways you can achieve a network of reliable people who you can count on, without having to resort to contemptible methods such as bribery or cheating. These people should be there to inspire you, be useful when career guidance or support is needed as well as someone who may point in you towards exciting new career opportunities. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using “who you know” to get on in life as long as you do it with integrity. Take a look at these 10 Inspiring and Achievable Ways to Expand your Professional Network for that extra edge.
1 Go to Networking Events
This will of course be the first and most obvious way of expanding your professional network. However, many people lose inspiration and go to the same networking events with the same people. The advice is be a step braver and go to a networking event you’ve never been to before to meet new people and opportunities.
2 Set Network Targets
After deciding which networking events you will attend, do your homework and make sure you aren’t going to places where your competitors are likely to be. You run the risk of competing for the same prospects. Find out who else will be going and ensure there will be some who you can do business with, or who can connect you with business prospects.
This is a great way of meeting new and interesting people who also have altruistic or ambitious goals through their volunteering work. Giving out a helping hand to your local community, events or companies can get you noticed and expand your professional network in a friendly and rewarding way.
4 Host Your Own Event
This is a remarkably self-serving and satisfying way of promoting yourself, what you can do and your creative ideas. Playing host/hostess can make you THE social butterfly that ups your status and attracts people who want YOU to be involved in their network! It takes a lot of planning and work, so start off small or with a partner. If you manage to pull it off then you will make yourself leadership material.
5 Direct Message (DM) Your Followers on Twitter
It’s a simple way of contacting someone. They are already interested in following you, so why not take it that extra step further and directly open up a link between yourselves? People nowadays strive for a comment on their most recent blog, status or location update. So be the one to start making those firm connections.
6 Tailor Your LinkedIn Invitation
If you use LinkedIn then be detailed when sending out your invitations. Clearly state how you know the target person, where and when you met them, and most importantly give reasons to why it would be a good idea to connect with each other. Online networking can develop into serious business partnerships or deals.
7 Link Yourself!
Leave links to your personal websites on places like blogs, business forums, everywhere! An easy way of expanding your professional network is to make it easy for people to find you. Leave links to your blog, website, Twitter, LinkIn, Facebook etc., anywhere and everywhere online and someone is bound to click on you.
8 Spruce up Your Profiles
Continuing on from the last point, make your profile pretty. I don’t mean in terms of aesthetics. I mean write an intelligent yet concise bio about yourself and your professional achievements. This will give potential networking partners a clear run down of who you are, your interests, your skills and where you are. Don’t make it too fancy either; clarity is the way to go with bios.
9 Promote Others
Scratch their back, they’ll scratch yours. Use the networks you already have and introduce them to others, and it’ll be more likely that they’ll introduce you to theirs. It’s a simple way of building your professional network through achievable word of mouth. Share, Like, RTing, G+, +K and spread the word.
10 Lend a Helping Hand
Because the world isn’t all a dog-eat-dog world out there. Similarly to the last point, helping out others will encourage others to help you. People remember altruism and a charitable heart. The most inspirational and achievable way of expanding you professional network is to help others. With networking it all boils down to you finding other people, it’s not all about you is it?
So, if you build up a reputation of being a helpful person, through word of mouth someone will want to reach out to you. These are not the only 10 Inspiring and Achievable ways of Expanding Your Professional Network, there are tons of different techniques. However, if you’re only a beginner or going through a dry spell, then try these out and see what remarkable results you get. What other ways of expanding your professional networks have worked wonders for you? Share, expand, and comment below.
Top Photo Credit: pinterest.com
Please rate this article