Introducing: How to Build a Professional Network. Networking is essential in building a business, and if you are not good at how to build a professional network, you will be missing out on the many benefits you can gain from it; benefits like getting jobs, getting clients for deals, getting sponsors, and many more.
Your career depends on your skills and experience, but networking is a part that you can’t afford to do without. Having a well connected professional network can help establish and build your career.
It is a popular thing to note that networking is the key to a successful business career. You can have the perfect skills (technical and interpersonal skills) and also education, but that doesn’t completely guarantee you success in your business career. Having a network (popular referred to as “connection”) will make things easier for you when securing that dream job of yours, or even build your desire business.
Can’t figure out how to build a professional network that will help you in actualizing your career goals? Not to worry, we will be providing you with actionable steps on how to build a professional network from scratch that will help you in actualizing your career goals.
What is a Professional Network?
A professional network is a group of people with similar career goals who are connected with one another. It is a supportive connection, with people who have skills, experiences and professional connections that can benefit themselves and others.
Professional network help one another in solving business related issues such as getting a job, helping one another with sponsors, assisting one another with clients, and any other support that can lead to achieving career goals.
In as much as a professional network is connected to business related matters, they are not limited to business or career related matters only. They can also help in some personal matters too.
How to Build a Professional Network
Having a powerful network can be the first step to take in getting that dream job of yours which you have been applying for a long time. Below are actionable steps to take on how to build a professional network.
1. Focus on the Right People
The first step on how to build a professional network is to focus on the right people. A professional network is meant to be those who share similar or related business or career goals with you. It is not about going for any networking events, giving business card to everyone you come across, or meeting as many people as possible. This should not be the case when it comes to how to build a professional network, only focus on the right people.
2. Develop Relationship-Building Habits
A network exists as a series of relationships and connections between people. People must relate with and respect one another in order for a valuable networking exchange to happen. Building relationships is your first priority when networking, and a great step to take on how to build a professional network.
3. Start With What You Already Have
The next step to take on how to build a professional network is by starting with what you already have. Before going out in search of a professional network, you should first look around you to select those around you to be your network.
A professional network doesn’t have to an employer, an HR manager, or a CEO of a big company (having any of them is a big plus though), it can be anyone that share like-minded business goals with you. It can be someone in your business niche or similar business niche.
The closest network around you is your family members, friends, classmates, and even neighbor. It’s always a good idea to start growing where you’ve already planted and cultivated relationships. So you can start with these people around and create a business relationship with them.
4. Use Social Networking Sites
When it comes to the best way on how to build a professional network online, social networking sites are the best online platforms to use when building a professional network. There are many social networking platforms in the internet, but LinkedIn, Twitter, and also Facebook are considered the best social networking platform to build professional network.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn tops the list as the best social networking platform online to build professional network, since it is a business social networking site. LinkedIn provides so many features you can use in finding a network.
- Facebook: Facebook is also a great social networking platform to consider on how to build a professional network. You can build networks from Facebook groups and pages too.
- Twitter: Twitter is also a powerful social networking site you can use on how to build a profession network. A lot of professionals make use of Twitter as their desired social media platform. With the use of Twitter’s hashtags relevant to your field, you can be able to connect with people that share same goal with you.
5. Create Your Own Networking Group
Another great way on how to build a professional network is by creating your own networking group. You can create a group, be it group chats, or group video or audio conferencing and discuss on topics related to your field.
For instance, you can create a group that discuss about current trends in your field, tools and technologies that will make work in the field more efficient, any interesting topics that will draw the attention of people in the same field. By doing this, a lot of people would want to connect with you since you are the creator of the group.
6. Attend Networking Events
Networking events are the best places to attend to build professional networks when reflecting on how to build a professional network. It can be local networking events, or your company or friend’s company networking event. There you will have the opportunity to meet people with similar career goals as yours.
A rule of thumb to keep in mind when going for any networking event is preparing the perfect elevator pitch that you can use in connecting with people in the vents and also a having a business card available.
Don’t have an elevator pitch? Check out our – 10 Elevator Pitch Examples That Work
7. Create a win-win Situation
After you have successfully creates your professional network, a good way to build and keep the relationship strong is by creating a win-win situation. This is a very crucial step to take on how to build a professional network.
When networking, it shouldn’t only be about you, it is important that both you and other people in the network gain equally.
8. Always Reconnect
When it comes to how to build a network, a good way to sustain your networking is by reconnecting. It is not all about creating new connections, and getting more contacts. When last did you communicate with the person? Always remember to reconnect with your network to keep the relationship intact.
Networking isn’t all about handling and collecting business cards. It’s about connecting, establishing, and building a mutual relationship with those who are relevant to your career and share similar career goals as yours.
I hope you enjoyed my guide on how to build a professional network
Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:
Which Tips from today’s guide do you want to try first?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.