Building your network doesn’t have to be boring or a long drawn-out process. All you have to do is listen well, be eager to learn new things and either attending or creating events to build your network. Below are 5 great ways to build your network. And don’t forget, if you have some ways that you have successfully built your network please share in the comment sections.
Going to different events. Next time try going to an event that has nothing to do with your industry. For example, if you are a realtor try going to a boat show and meeting people there. Forego that next realtor meet up and connect with people that may possibly need your services. Go where you believe the action might not be!
Create your own event. Sometimes it takes time, but building your own networking event is a great idea to connect people in different fields together. At the beginning it may be tough. After doing all the right things like promoting the event only a few people might show up if that. Regardless, you might benefit from that one person showing up! However, the point is to keep at it. Eventually those professionals you originally reached out will see the value of your event and when that happens more and more of them will show up.
Random connections. This is like cold calling but in-person! For example, the area I use to live in had a car meet-up. Every Thursday evening people met up at a parking lot on a major intersection from where I lived and brought their unique cars. An event like this is a great way to ‘randomly’ approach one of the owners of a car and learn more about what they do by talking about their prized possession. Suddenly you are not going in ‘cold’ and more importantly you will connect with the person about something they value a lot. This quickly becomes a ‘warm’ connection.
Neighbourhood event. I don’t know about you, but growing up in a big city is tough when you want to get to know your neighbours. Especially these days when it’s easier to be cooped up inside doing your own thing. So make this your next challenge. Try to create a fun event where your neighbours can get together in either a chosen location ie. A local park or even a few backyards in close proximity. Doing something like this in the summer is perhaps the best idea and be sure to promote it before hand. You never know what your neighbour down the street does especially if he or she turns out to be a professional that can help your business grow in some way. This is a unique and fun networking event that is informal and gives neighbours a chance to build their own networking and at the same time strengthening community spirit.
Knowing Those Around You. We sometimes forget that those very close to us or we know pretty well can be the best network we have. I have been guilty of trying too hard in networking with outside professionals which is good however I forget that a strong network exists in the form of family, friends, and acquaintances. Building a stronger relationship with your uncle let’s say who owns his own business can give you valuable insight to what it takes to being a successful entrepreneur. Or if you are a realtor, someone in your close circle may know someone that is considering selling their house and needs help. Don’t underestimate the power of those who are close to you. Just be sure that they know what you do!
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