Most people would agree that having a strong network of contacts is an advantageous thing. After all, who wouldn’t want easy access to potential clients, employers, investors, or even just friends? But for many people, building and maintaining a good network seems like an impossible task. They don’t know where to start or what to do.
Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Building a good network takes time and effort, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. Here are some tips on how to get started:
Get involved in your local community
This is a no-brainer. You want to get out there and meet people, don’t you? Any activity that gets you out among the public will help you connect with others. Join a class, attend seminars or lectures, join a club or organization – anything that will expose you to other people. Even if you don’t like what you’re doing, try to meet at least two new people in each activity. That way, when you leave that particular place or event, you will have at least 4 new contacts. Leaving our comfort zone is not easy, but the effort is definitely worth it.
Find something you are passionate about
This may seem like a no-brainer as well, but you’d be surprised at how many people join activities they know nothing about just to meet new people. That’s fine if that’s what interests you – but if you’re serious about building a good network, then select an activity that really gets your creative juices flowing.
You don’t have to become the next Pablo Picasso or Mozart in order to find something you are passionate about. Just find something that interests you and throw yourself into it wholeheartedly. It may be sports, cooking, drawing, or writing. It could even be something like science or sports betting (if you’re into that sort of thing). Whatever it is, make sure you enjoy what you do and find a way to apply your interests in your work.
Build your network one person at a time
It helps to have lots of contacts, right? But you’ll never get anywhere unless you take the first steps and actually meet these people. Instead of trying to build up an entire network all at once, try connecting with just one person you think might be useful to you. Once you get a feel for how the process works, it will be easier to expand your network and reach out to others.
You can do this online even. Networking apps such as meetmatch.biz can help you network with new people. All you have to do is to be open to the idea and reach out to people.
Reach out to people
The old saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know” is not quite accurate. It’s not just about knowing people – it’s about building relationships with them.
It takes two to tango – if you want to build a good network, then you have to participate as well. Reach out to others and try to connect with them. This does not mean you have to send random invitations to lunches or coffee dates all the time, but simple things like responding to their messages on social networks are good openers. Again, if you are serious about making your network work for you, don’t just join – participate!
Give more than you take
You may have heard this before, but it still holds true. No one will bother to connect with you or help you if they feel like you are just using them. You need to be seen as someone who contributes good things to others in order for people to want to work with you.
It is okay if your end goal is getting contacted by others – you just need to make sure that your initial act of connecting with other people is not perceived as self-serving.
Build on the relationships you already have
When it comes to building a network, it’s important to remember that one good connection leads to another. If someone doesn’t turn out to be the right business contact for you, don’t think about it as a failure. It could be that he knows someone better suited to your needs – so reach out to that person!
Always look at networking as an opportunity for mutually beneficial connections. If all you see is potential negative outcomes (such as rejection), then you will miss out on a lot of opportunities.
Networking is essential to success in any field. The more people you know, the better your chances of achieving your goals. However, building a successful network does not happen overnight. It takes time and effort to connect with the right people and nurture those relationships. If you are serious about expanding your network, then follow these tips and be prepared to put in the work.