Whether you are searching for a better job or need a professional to help you out on something or simply looking to build your reputation or business you need a solid network. A network is a web of people that you have met or connected with in a host of professions. They can certainly help you out and you can return the favour. So if a network is vital to many aspects to your success how can you build one? There are tried and tested methods but here are 5 out-of-the-box ideas to build your network.

1. Don’t wait for a networking event…create one!

You want to go out there and connect with professionals in a more informal setting but you can’t…there aren’t any networking events around you happening for a while! Instead of waiting for something like this to happen…why don’t you try making it happen! Try your hand at putting a networking event together. There is a bit of work involved but it is an amazing way to connect with people even before the event happens.

2. Create a Networking group that does it differently

We know the drill: meeting other professionals at the networking event and exchange cards. Then off to meet the next person. Well, networking events don’t have to be the same old song and dance! Shake it up by creating one that is different. Have a panel discussion. Focus on a topic that effects the community when trying to get guest speakers. Maybe try a very niche networking event. The sky is the limit. Brainstorm networking event ideas and create one that is different.

3. Challenge yourself to rapidly build your network

Growing and nurturing your networking takes time, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait to build a powerful and effective one! Challenge yourself by giving yourself benchmarks. For example, try outreaching to 10 sales pros within a week by asking if you could ask them a few questions about their successful career. Maybe for the following week you can up to 15 pros you connect with.

4. Brand yourself like no other

Branding yourself has never been easier and so cost-effective in this day and age especially with the internet being such a useful part of our lives. It is also easier for a bad reputation to spread on social media. However, there are so many free tools and applications to help you create logos, build professional websites and whip up other promotional items that you can run a successful brand from the comfort of your own living room!

Image: SNCR Group

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