6 Tips to grow your professional network from your coworking or shared office space
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6 Tips for Growing your Professional Network

Workplace
Author since:
October, 2015
90 blog posts

Growing your professional network as a business owner, entrepreneur or freelancer is linked to your business success.  This tribe of people can be the sounding board you need, the door opener to opportunities you never knew existed and the answer to the problems you are struggling to solve.  Your professional network should be something that you consciously work on and develop to help your business.

“It is not what you know but who you know” is a well voiced saying.  In Workplace the people that you meet are undoubtedly the key to building your professional network. By its own design people who are in coworking spaces are eager to share their existing networks and invite anyone in to share their connections.

The right connections can get you to places that you never believed you could and here are 6 tips for growing your own professional network;

1. Make your presence known.

At regular opportunities connect with your professional network.  It takes time and effort but making sure that you engage with your professional network as much as possible is the key to success.  This can be on social media, dropping them an email or saying hello at events.  All of this will keep your business network hot, hot, hot.  You need to make sure that you are friendly, warm and open to this so that there are opportunities for people to recommend you, call on you for help and be prepared to make introductions.

2. Give to receive from your professional network

Many of your professional network will have an established large group of people in their network and one great way to make sure that they can see you is to help them.  I am a firm believer in not hounding people to help you but first find a way of helping them.  We are involved in The Business Network which has been great for Workplace. The first 6 months were all about us meeting people who provided our new coffee machine, did legal work and replaced a door system.  Once people could see how open we were to know about them they really started to return the compliment.  We also connected lots of the Workplace members with the connections that we met and again it seemed to start people thinking how they can help us.

3. Attend networking events — online & offline.

There are many meet-ups and local businesses and associations that hold regular events that are great for building your network. Meetup is a great source of the event on offer near to you or in any location.

There are also plenty of networking opportunities online. LinkedIn groups are great and Twitter chats are becoming more popular. Twitter chats allow a huge group of people to participate regardless of their location.

4. Hang out at the same places the people you want to connect with hang out.

This applies to both online and offline — as mentioned above, LinkedIn groups and Twitter chats are great places to connect. If you want to connect with a certain group online, then participate and introduce yourself.

If you know that your kind of contacts are in a certain district or frequent certain events, lunch spots, networking event or coworking spaces then position yourself there.  Be a regular, be seen and introduce yourself to people.  Being open and friendly is essential in building your network and this is the place to be just that.

5. Never be afraid to ask.

We are British, and we don’t ask – that is not polite!

Well the truth is nobody is a mind reader so loose that fear of directness and if you need help, put up your hand.

Want an introduction? Ask for it.

Want a meeting? Ask for it.

Want advice or feedback? Ask for it.

6.Follow up with everyone you connect with.

You will know from the business cards you pass out and the people you meet how few people do this.  Any contact you make can be useful so make sure that you link in, email or connect in anyway you can to start what could be your next fruitful relationship.

 

Workplace is a 5 star coworking and serviced office company in Manchester and is perfectly positioned on Oxford Street, close to Oxford Road Station and only 10 minutes walk from Piccadilly Station.  It has easy access with the tram system in Manchester being only a few steps from  Albert Square.  Full Google Directions and Location

Workplace Manchester offers great flexibility with  day desk hire, coworking, reserved desks, offices and meeting space.

 

Up Next

Top 5 Tips for Business Success in 2019

Workplace
Author since:
October, 2015
90 blog posts

Business Success is all you strive for as an entrepreneur.  As 2018 comes to close it is time to start planning for 2019.   What will your business look like in 2019?   There are hundreds of points you could look at doing but one on the list is to “stay focused” so here are 5 key ideas.

1. Get your stuff in order

Business success can’t be achieved if you are working in chaos and especially if you don’t know what you can see in your accounts .  Time and time again businesses leave it till the end of the year before they start to put their accounts in order.  If something has gone amiss then this is too late to fix any issues.  A big recommendation is, get an accounting system that you can control.  Unless you are a bigger company and have more funds, leaving this to your accountant can cost more than you need to spend.  You can also be left waiting to see if you are making any money.  Xero accounting (and there are others available) does exactly this.  Xero talks to you in everyday language, not accountancy speak.  It is very quick and simple to use and gives you access on a day by day bases as to what your profit is – very important if you are going to be a success!!

2. Marketing

In a down turn or when you are just starting out and have no money, spending on marketing is tough.  However, business success can only be achieved by increasing sales. Whether your business is booming or needs some help you can’t  stop investing in marketing.  A good way to assess your marketing spend is on a % of sales. Many companies will look at 10% of sales on marketing.  This may or may not be comfortable with you and there are lots you can do for so called FREE imediatly. Remember though that nothing is entirely free as if you are going to do all your marketing and sales yourself it takes time, and this is money.   There are many ways to make your business stand out from the crowd. However, needs must and it is possible to get great results without having to part with any cash.

      A few recommendations to help are;

  •   Make sure your Google My Business Page is active and up to date. You need to do something on this page every day.      This simply takes time and is a number 1 tip for getting your business ranked higher on google.
  • Get google reviews on your business. The best way of selling is testimonials so make sure you encourage your customers to leave a google review.  This can then be used in two ways – to increase your ranking on google and to screen shot and share on social media.
  • Use a good CRM system – HubSpot is good and you can monitor your customers, social media and mailing with a good system. It could be a sledge hammer to crack a nut for some though.  Mailchimp is very well known and good for keeping your GDPR in line and mailing out to your customers and prospects.  Don’t think email marketing is junk mailing, written properly and with good call to actions it is imperative.
  • Tell your story on social media, post what your customers want to read, be real and be active. There are loads of courses on being effective on this and in many areas for free.  Don’t just wing this, learn how to do it well or you will be spending time with no results.
  • Network both in person and on-line and learn how to do this well. LinkedIn is a great source of new contacts as are many networking events but choose these carefully as you could spend 24 hours a day in networking events… choose the ones that are valuable.

3. Be friendly and approachable

We have all had contact with businesses who are amazingly helpful and then again those who are just rude.  Don’t go in to business unless you can be approachable and friendly, or customers will simply not want to interact from you or give you their money.  You must make customers want to interact with you and grumpy does not cut.  If you want to be a success you must be friendly and approachable, no matter what kind of a day you are having.  Your personal brand of customer service is what will make the difference between you and the rest.

4. Stay Focused

It is so easy in your own business to lose focus because there is so much to do, and you are trying to be everything to everyone.  One way to keep focused is to diaries a couple of hours a week of time out of work.  This is time to away from the business to sit, think, read, contemplate and make sure you are staying focused on the important. If you can, get a mentor, someone you can talk to and who can kick you in the right direction and be honest about your business.

5. Invest in your existing customers

Free trials and discounts if you buy, join, or subscribe are everywhere but what about your regular or existing customers?  Make sure that you are investing and valuing your existing customers to make sure they continue to be customers.  Doing simple things like sending a thank you note or writing a Christmas card that is not just signed but the time is taken to leave a personal note can be just enough.   Offering loyalty bonuses or discounts are the other end of the extreme and may give you the business success you need.  Mostly it is about staying connected and showing you care.

2019 has the prospect of being the best year for business success.  All you have to do is move towards your end goal.

 

 

Workplace is a 5 star coworking and serviced office company in Manchester and is perfectly positioned on Oxford Street, close to Oxford Road Station and only 10 minutes walk from Piccadilly Station.  It has easy access with the tram system in Manchester being only a few steps from  Albert Square.  Full Google Directions and Location

Workplace Manchester offers great flexibility with  day desk hire, coworking, reserved desks, offices and meeting space.

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