Who you spend time with can have a huge impact on your life as a whole. In fact, it is widely reported that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Having a strong social and professional network has the potential to open up many doors for both personal and professional growth. Here are five tips to help you get started:
1. Reach out to people in your industry - Start by connecting with peers that share the same interests, background, and goals as you. Join industry associations and attend networking events to meet potential new contacts in your field. Don’t be afraid to reach out to industry leaders or high performers. Be polite and offer to take them out for a coffee or lunch and you might be surprised at the response. Often the most successful people are the most generous with their time.
2. Utilise social media - LinkedIn is a great way to connect with existing contacts, as well as to reach out to new ones. Joining groups and communities online is also a great way to connect with like minded people. Remember, none of us is as smart as all of us so connecting with more people opens you up to new ideas.
3. Follow up and keep in touch - After meeting someone new, be sure to follow up with them and take the time to get to know them. Regularly touching base with your network will help you build and maintain your relationships. In today’s fast paced world, days turn into weeks and months fast and it is easy for time to slip by. A great tip is to make a list of people you want to contact each month to ensure no one gets missed.
4. Understand your circle of influence - This is so important if you are looking to get established in a new role or business. Think about who you know and how they might be able to help you. Once you are clear on who is in your circle of influence you can start to build a strategy around leverage and growth.
5. Give back - Part of building your network is understanding the importance of give and take. Always offer your help and expertise whenever you can, especially as you become more successful. Always close the loop by thanking people for their help and look for opportunities to give back when you can.
Expanding your network can open up many opportunities and benefits. Take advantage of these tips to start building and strengthening your network today!