6 top tips on how to network in today’s world

Networking is the most effective way to make connections which may help your business. For insight and advice on the key to building a meaningful network in a digital world, take a few minutes to read our 6 top tips.

Guide

3 min read

Any effective networking – whether virtual or in-person – requires purpose and preparation. So, before you start, get clear on your goals and objectives. Don’t ask too much too soon and be sure to do assessments of your conversations when they’re over.

1. Build relationships

Start a conversation and focus on what you have in common, goals and expectations. Be open and be transparent, people appreciate honesty, this is the foundation to build relationships and trust. Identify what you have achieved to date and if you have any failures to mention. Ask questions, find out more about the person’s business and what challenges they have faced.

2. Explore possibilities

Can you discuss possibilities of working together? The cardinal rule of networking is to always offer up help before you need or expect anything in return. Maybe you can make an introduction to help that person. This is a great example of support and the person will appreciate and remember the offer of help. Be generous with help. Focus on helping others by continually sharing useful resources, feedback and referrals using the online platforms.

3. Commit to your actions

Always follow through with your actions and conversations. Follow up later with an email to say you enjoyed meeting them and learning more about their business, at this point you should suggest a future meeting.

4. Keep it brief

If you are suggesting a meeting, keep it light and don’t expect someone to commit to a 4hr meeting at first. Maybe for the first meeting/chat, suggest one for 15/20 mins to keep it informal and set the scene.

5. Social media etiquette

Connect with people you meet on LinkedIn, this is classified as the professional online office. Follow their business on Twitter and Facebook if they have a business page but do not connect with them on their personal Facebook page.

6. How to successfully connect with influencers

Connecting with top executives is not easy and sometimes impossible. So, if you hit a brick wall, focus on building relationships, using tools like LinkedIn and Google alerts to facilitate the process. Try and make it easy for a decision maker to respond. The more specific you are, the better.

The more you network the easier it becomes, sign up to as many networks you think will help you with your business and career. Taking the first steps can be intimidating and daunting, but remember everyone might be feeling the same as you.

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