Networking is the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts. It is a very vital aspect of one’s life that should not be treated with levity.
It is often said that “Your Network is your net worth”. Your network can be vital to your professional success. A strong network gives you insight into trends as well as insider information on job openings and career opportunities. These days social media has made it easier for you to network with people from the comfort of your home, but that doesn’t mean you should not also attend physical social gatherings where you can also get to meet people.
Seeking out and working in collaboration with others who share your interests and values will provide a stronger foundation, enabling you to reach a higher level of success than you would on your own. Below, I will share few tips on how to network with people.
1.) Start Networking Before You Need It
You shouldn’t network only when you desperately need to. When you begin Networking with people on time, it eliminates desperation. You are more interested in getting to know more about the other person than what you can get from them because you have no ulterior motive.
Unlike when you begin to the network when you are desperately in need of something. Seasoned networkers can sense it, which automatically passes a message to them that you are only doing this to help yourself only. This will often send them running in the other direction away from you.
2.) Follow Up And Follow Through
When you get to meet new people, it is not just enough to have their contact on your phone. You can occasionally check upon them, or initiate a hangout. This automatically creates a strong bond between the both of you.
Also, if you told someone you’d get in touch with them, don’t hesitate to do it and reaffirm your interest to assist in any way you can. If you promised to introduce someone to a person you know, ensure that you don’t fail to do it. Things like this might look little, but then, it can mean a lot to people and just one introduction can end up changing someone’s life for the better.
3.) Figure Out How You Can Be Useful
It is not just enough to meet someone who can help you achieve what you want. Often, when a network is one-sided, it can lead to a lack of interest from the other person. Always try to look out for ways you can be useful no matter how small it might look.
Before any conversation comes to a close, be sure to ask “how can I help you?”, because it is rarely done. You can also say something like “if you need anything, you can reach out to me”.
4.) Forget Your Agenda
While you may be tempted to network just to land a job, an appointment, or get a contact, make it a duty to be open, friendly, and honest. Try to forge connections between people who may be able to help each other.
Try not to get so overwhelmed with your wants, you can just decide to get the extra mile for someone you intend to help.
5.) Have A Plan
Ensure to have a plan always before you attend any occasion or gatherings that are likely to make you meet people. Get clarity on what your skills, talents, and strengths are, and look for a way to bring them to the table when engaging in a discussion.
You should also draft what you want to talk about on how you could also be of help to the person. Every person has value or potential, you must know what is yours.