Networking doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Growing your network and building fruitful relationships in an authentic way can fill your professional life with interesting and like-minded people, and expand your career options. Here’s our do’s and don’ts for those looking to up their networking game:
- Attend events where a lot of people important to your industry will be. It could be an official networking event or an industry event. If there isn’t currently any suitable events in your area, you can create your own networking group on LinkedIn or Meetup, a website dedicated to helping you meet people near you who share your interests.
- Follow up with anyone you’ve met for the first time shortly after the initial meeting. A short email or message when you add them on LinkedIn works well.
- Stay in contact with your network. It might be a comment on their Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn post, or a lunch or coffee meeting. If you have the time it’s always a good idea to keep in touch with your network.
- Introduce people who could benefit mutually from knowing each other.
- Ask for introductions from people in your network.
- Network digitally by joining LinkedIn and Facebook Groups that are dedicated to your industry and specialties.
- Air your grievances about clients, suppliers or anyone else in your professional network when meeting people.
- Wait a long time to follow up with someone you have met.
- Introduce people if the relationship would be only beneficial for one person.
- Don’t add people on LinkedIn that you haven’t met, unless you have a genuine idea of how you could work together. If you are adding someone you haven’t met, make sure to follow up with a message about your intentions right after they accept your LinkedIn request.
It can often feel overwhelming when you decide to start growing your network, but it doesn’t have to. Starting small, by joining a LinkedIn group to connect with others in your industry can be a great place to begin. Check some out here.