The Fine Art of Networking

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A strong network isn’t necessarily about how many people know your name, but about how many can help advance your business or career.

Whether you own a business or you are an employee working in a company, building the right network is contributes significantly towards how well you do in your career.

If you are wondering why, let’s break it down. First of all, you have a better chance of getting through any door if you know someone within or if you are recommended by someone of high repute. Sending your CV and proposals alone can do a little but knowing the right people can do a lot more at improving your chances. Hence, you have to go out and look for whatever your business or career might need by surrounding yourself with the right people through networking.

The truth is everyone networks every day without even realizing it. Because at its very core, networking is nothing more than getting to know people. However, you need to understand that it transcends merely getting to know people. You must build value-driven relationships with the RIGHT people. A strong contact network isn’t necessarily about how many people know your name, it’s more about how many people can help advance your business or career; quality over quantity!

Here are our three tips for mastering the fine art of networking:

  • Go to the right places

To meet the right people. But you need to define what you hope to gain from your proposed network. What are you currently chasing? Investors for your business? A job? Or maybe mentorship? 

After making your decision, outline the places/programs where you can find the people who can help you achieve your goals. It could be at masterclasses, job fairs, professional conferences or training events. Whenever you are able to attend the necessary programs, go out of your comfort zone. Make the first move by approaching the people you want to meet and make a positive impact. 

It might not be easy but you have to keep trying to properly sell yourself whenever you meet them.

  • Use social media wisely 

Social media is no doubt an asset in the art of networking. It offers a closeness to people we would like to be part of our network that we ordinarily would not have. 

Thus, you must make sure you use it to your advantage. Applications like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter help to connect with different people in your industry. On LinkedIn, for example, you can get introduced to new contacts through your current connections. You can also use LinkedIn as a professional database to find people who work in your professional circles at various companies you’re interested in.

Connect with them, sell yourself through your likes and comments on their posts and when you decide to message them, you would be sure of getting an audience and maybe a granted wish.

  • Build a diverse network

Ensure that you add individuals from different industries, backgrounds, age groups to your network. This exposes you to a wider range of insights, connections, and opportunities. A diverse network also means having different types of people, who could function as mentors, life coaches, and even advisors If you limit yourself to contacts with similar backgrounds and profiles, it limits your opportunities to expand and explore new grounds. 

Notwithstanding, the golden rules of networking are keeping in touch and giving. Try as much as possible to occasionally keep in touch with members of your network. It gives you some relevance in their world. Likewise, giving always sets you apart. It could be gifts for Christmas and birthdays or just going the extra mile to show them that they matter. They would no doubt feel connected and indebted to you. 

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