Good Morning, Everybody! Welcome Back. I hope all is well and good. Before we start, in case you missed the announcement. All new designs have been loaded and are ready for y’all. Now back to our regularly scheduled program, as you know, we are all living in crazy times. For many, it consists of staying at home. For those lucky few, you’re either working from home and or still getting a paycheck for following through with CDC guideline. So, for those who were not so lucky. I wanted to write something that may be of some help. So, without further ado, we bring to you today, Networking 101: The Importance of Making Connections.
Successful people know that they only got to where they are now due to the people who helped them along the way. Networking and making connections can help you achieve things that you would never be able to accomplish on your own, from word-of-mouth recommendations that grow your customer base to solutions of seemingly impossible problems, networking is the key to achieving success. However, it is only effective if you are smart about it and genuine. Like all of our choices and actions, intention is key.
Why Network in the First Place?
As an entrepreneur, you may be wondering why networking is needed in the first place. The answer is straightforward. Just as it happens in your private, social life, there are many advantages of building long-lasting connections. Firstly, strong relationships can lead to the acquisition of new friends and clients. And if you are just starting out, you can rely on networking to help you find someone who could help you overcome an obstacle you may be facing. Furthermore, building connections also contributes to building authority.
Whether you network to find a new job, explore new career options, develop your current career, or expand your professional horizons, it is extremely important to focus on networking as an exchange of experience, contacts, and information. In any career level or industry, networking helps you build relationships of respect and support to create mutual benefits.
How to Get Started?
Building a professional network to help you improve your long-term career prospects is not something that happens overnight. However, there are some strategies that can help you along the way. Following are some tips you should keep in mind when building your network:
1. Know What You Want to Achieve
Quite often, it is easier to connect with people that we find similar to us. However, what does it actually do for our future opportunities and developments? Is connecting purely for your own gain enough or could connecting with the intent to help someone else prove to be more beneficial? It is recommended that you look for individuals that are different from you. Why? Because individuals with different experiences and skill sets often prove to be the closest allies. You can draw on complimentary networks, skills, and learn more – all of the things that can help you grow. At the same time, share your experience with others that can help you both in the long run.
2. Find the Right Way in
There are a number of ways to reach people. There’s traditional networking, emailing, calling, etc. However, it is nowadays easier to connect with someone thanks to channels like social media. You need to work out which of these channels are being used by the people that you want to connect with. LinkedIn is a recommended choice as it is the go-to tool for finding and connecting with professionals. However, you should also use other platforms to your advantage. With a correct approach, any of the social media platforms can get you directly in front of the right person.
3. Keep in Touch with Your Connections
Don’t just contact people when you need them. It is recommended that you stay in touch and invest in each relationship. Even the occasional message to ask how someone is can go a long way. Keeping in touch with your contacts is the key to building stronger relationships. And the stronger your relationship is, the more your contact will be willing to help you.
4. Attend Professional Networking Events
Even though building relationships via modern approaches has many advantages, face-to-face networking is still very effective. So, if you have the chance to go to events and engage in professional networking activities, don’t forget to take advantage of it. Such events are designed to help people build professional relationships that are long-lasting and mutually-beneficial.
5. Do Favors for Your Contacts
Networking is a two-way street. You cannot expect to only receive its benefits. If you have a chance to help your contacts, take it. Share valuable information and point your contacts in the right direction. Favors such as these will not be forgotten.
Networking 101: The Importance of Making Connections, Even though most of the activities and processes nowadays are automated thanks to the technological advancements, there are certain aspects of business that the technology simply cannot replace. Building relationships is one such aspect. Networking draws the fabric of human connection – something that a machine just cannot replace. However, as mentioned before, it is only effective if you are smart about it. Networking is not just a one-time association. It is a continuous, long-term connection which you can establish if you start right. The above-listed tips will help you in this regard. Remember as Black Sheep, we have to not only be masters of our own lives, but masters within our communities and overall environment. Till next time, stay classy and always original!