Are you getting the most out of your network? What are your networking habits?
Whether you’re a startup, small business owner, or entrepreneur, optimizing your networking habits is key to success. Here are five ways to get started.
1. Make a List of Your Personal and Professional Contacts
Having a personal and professional contact list can be handy for a number of reasons.
First, it gives you a quick way to get in touch with people when you need to. Whether you’re looking for a new job or trying to network for business opportunities, being able to quickly send emails or make phone calls can be a big help.
Second, it can be a good way to keep track of important relationships.
If you’re worried about forgetting someone’s name or forgetting to follow up after meeting someone, keeping a list can help you stay organized and on top of things.
The Benefits of Having Everything in One Place
Finally, it can simply be satisfying to have all your contacts in one place.
If you’re the type of person who likes knowing that everything is in its right place, then having a personal and professional contact list can give you a sense of order and peace of mind.
There are lots of ways to go about making a contact list. You could use a simple app on your phone, or even just create a document on your computer.
The important thing is to start somewhere and to be consistent with it.
Once you have your list, be sure to keep it updated as you meet new people and as your relationships change over time.
2. Identify Your Top Networking Goals
Networking is a critical part of professional success, yet it can be difficult to know where to start.
To make the most of your networking efforts, it is important to identify your goals.
What are you hoping to achieve? Are you looking to make new connections in your industry, expand your network of potential clients, or learn more about a particular topic?
Once you have a clear sense of your goals, you can begin to identify the best ways to achieve them.
For example, if you are looking to expand your network, attending industry events or joining relevant online communities may be helpful.
If you are hoping to learn more about a particular topic, seeking out experts or conducting research may be a better use of your time.
By taking the time to identify your goals, you can ensure that your networking efforts are focused and effective.
3. Assess Your Current Networking Habits
In order to build an effective networking strategy, you need to first assess your current networking habits.
Evaluate how you are currently meeting people and what channels you are using to connect with others.
Are you going to networking events? Attending conferences? Connecting with people online?
It is important to identify where you are making the most connections and focus your efforts there.
You should also consider how well your current networking efforts are working. Are you meeting the right people? Are you making quality connections?
If not, it may be time to reevaluate your networking strategy.
By taking a close look at your networking habits, you can develop a more effective plan for meeting new people and building strong relationships.
4. Implement New Networking Habits That Align with Your Goals
Now that you have taken a hard look at your current networking practices, and accessed whether or not they align with your goals, you are ready to implement some new networking habits!
For example, say you have never gone to an event before. Start now!
Say you meet a lot of people in real life, but you never exchange business cards or social profiles. Or, if you do get their information, you never follow up with anyone.
Now is the time to correct all of these bad habits and make them into good ones!
If you’re like most people, networking doesn’t come naturally to you. You might feel awkward talking to strangers or put off by the idea of self-promotion.
However, networking is an essential skill if you want to achieve your career goals.
It’s ok to start small. Maybe set the initial goal of 2 networking events a month.
You can also do a lot of digital networking. Find out where the professionals you want to connect with are online, and engage with those communities.
5. Evaluate Your Progress Monthly
Networking is a crucial part of building a successful career. By networking, you create opportunities for yourself and establish relationships with people who can help you achieve your goals.
However, networking can also be time-consuming and it can be difficult to know whether or not your networking efforts are paying off.
One way to evaluate your networking progress is to set aside time each month to reflect on your networking habits.
Ask yourself how many new contacts you have made, how often you have reached out to your network, and what kinds of networking events you have attended.
This reflection will help you to identify areas where you need to improve and will allow you to track your progress over time.
By evaluating your networking progress monthly, you can ensure that you are building strong networking habits.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful and that they will help you take your networking skills to the next level.
Remember, it takes time and effort to build relationships that are beneficial for both parties, so don’t give up if you don’t see results right away.
Keep practicing and expanding your network, and soon enough you’ll start seeing the fruits of your labor!
Do you have any additional networking tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!
Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.
Find us on social at #MakeItApp’n®