- 28th November, 2018
6 Tips for Growing your Professional Network
102 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
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