When you’re looking to network, you do have to put yourself out there to make connections. Even if you’re making connections online, you still have to reach out.
Regardless of where you plan to connect, make it a priority to try to create at least one new networking opportunity every day. It may take a few contacts to make a solid connection.
LinkedIn is a great place for connecting, but so are forums in your niche, Facebook groups, and even direct networking platforms like Twitter! All you have to do to find the opportunities is use the site’s search function with keywords.
When you’re trying to connect, don’t overwhelm the person with eagerness. You can network without coming across as too pushy. Keep in mind that other successful people have busy schedules and they may not respond for longer than you think.
Look for organizations of similar interest. If you’re into making and selling jewelry and you’re hoping to network because your end goal is to grow your business, then you need to network with professional organizations and leaders in the same niche.
This might be an association for jewelry makers. The association might be one that breaks down the jewelry by the kind it is – such as contemporary jewelry. You would also want to look for stonesetting or stonecutting organizations.
Many of those will offer valuable resources that can link you to further networking opportunities. One thing you haveto remember is that joining isn’t enough – you have to be an active participant.
How are people in a group going to know who to recommend for you to network with if they’re unaware of your slant in the marketplace? So don’t be afraid to be vocal about what you do and where you plan to take your business.
Look up trade organizations in the field that you’re in. Pay attention to local and statewide organizations as well as national and international ones. These organizations can also help keep you in the loop on the latest trends and news in your area of interest.
You can get to know other people within these associations that form a bigger community and a greater chance of networking. Reach out to individual members who seem active and form closer bonds and friendships.
Go to as many conferences as you can possibly attend every year. You’ll be able to mingle with others who can offer you resources and connections to help you reach your end goals.
You’ll gain practical advice, be able to take learn from someone else’s knowledge – and come away feeling inspired. Plus, you’ll enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded individuals.
Make sure that you have an easy way that others at the gathering can contact you. You’ll want to have a flier or business card. These people will be meeting and interacting with so many others – and you don’t want your name to get lost in the crowd.
If you have a book in print, then you might have a few onhand to dole out to special connections –and make sure you autograph it with a personalized message and your contact information, too.
Go online to find the networking opportunities that you need. Many of the organizations that you’ll seek have an online presence. You can easily engage and interact on a business’s social media page or on their blog page.
If there’s not something already online for a networking opportunity in the field that you’re in or headed in, then create one. You can bet that if you’re looking to network and nothing’s available, that others are too – and they will find you.
Networking opportunities are abundant in many areas where you can find support both for your personal and professional goals. Being a part of a community should help you be more productive, so make sure you don’t join one that seems to drag you down.
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