A network of professionals that you can tap into when you need them can prove to be invaluable. You can use your contacts to help you find work or business, to learn new things, and to promote your business. If you’re not connected to a network of other professionals, you can feel isolated from your industry and any other areas of business you might be able to benefit from. Building your network can take time, and you also have to pay attention to maintaining your connections. If you want to start growing your business network, there are lots of ways you can do it.
Take A Course, Class Or Workshop
One way to start connecting with people is to further your business education. You might be surprised by how it can help you get to know valuable people and grow your professional network. Firstly, you’ll meet the people teaching you and mentoring you, and you’ll meet your fellow students. Online courses can still require you to do group projects, for example. You could form lasting connections from taking a short course or worktop.
Join A Community
Getting involved with a business community is another way to grow your professional network. You might have a local startup community that puts on events you can attend. Or perhaps there’s a co-working space or even a private members club that’s perfect for networking with people in your industry. For example, Soho House clubs are popular among creative people – in fact, they only let in creatives. When you join a community, you can learn from others and contribute your own knowledge too. And, of course, you can make some friends.
Be Active Online And Offline
In this modern age, having an online presence is essential in business. However, it’s also worth showing your face in person, as well as networking with people online. You might use tools like LinkedIn or Twitter when you connect with people online, as well as messaging, email and video chats. However, finding events to meet people in person and arranging meetings for one-on-one catch-ups will help you stay better connected. People want to see you once in a while, and it helps to make you more memorable.
Make Sure You Have Something To Give
When you build your professional network, you need to make sure you’re not just taking from others all the time. Of course, you can benefit from reaching out to the professionals you know, who can help you in a variety of ways. However, it’s important that it’s not a one-sided relationship where everyone does things for you, but you never return the favor. You need to be able to offer something in return, whether it’s advice, services or something else.
You can choose a number of ways to grow your professional network. A strong network is a great thing to have to help you get ahead in business.