Like anything in life, you need to be proactive so your chances of success are that much greater. Well, networking is no exception. You need to take the time and effort to build relationships.
Produce Your Own Events, Seminars
A great way to get yourself in front of people is to produce your own events or seminars. By doing so, you are letting others know who you are and what you have to offer.
Whether you host a social event or educational seminar, you have the opportunity to bring your network together and share your expertise.
No matter what type of event you put together, make sure it can add some value to those attending. By adding value, people who attend will remember you and may reach out to you to become a part of your network.
As alluded to above, hosting your own events will help you to brand yourself in networking circles. By actively branding yourself, you will stand out when meeting others and while attending networking events.
In networking, it is important for people to remember you. By proactively branding yourself, you are setting yourself apart from other professionals.
A great way to brand yourself is to become a subject expert. Pick a topic that you are passionate about or one in which you have professional expertise.
Ways to show others that you are a subject expert include speaking at events, writing a column in an industry publication, creating a Web site, or publishing a blog.
Other simple ways to brand yourself include wearing your own recognizable name tag to each event you attend, making your business cards stand out, or engaging in memorable conversations with others.
Keep in Touch With People
Without building relationships with others, networking won’t work too well for you. You should actively keep in touch with people in your network.
Though keeping in touch doesn’t have to take a lot of your time, it does require some effort. Also, keep in mind that you will want to keep in touch more regularly with some people over others.
An easy way to maintain contact with people is via e-mail. It’s good to send an e-mail every once in a while to certain people with information about your career and the industry.
In addition, e-mail allows you to send out an electronic newsletter to everyone in your network at one time. With an e-newsletter, you can be creative in what content you provide. Still, make sure it’s relevant and useful for people.
With some people, it’s good to connect with them via phone. Since you obviously can’t do this with everyone, be selective because your time is already limited.
No matter what method you use to keep in touch with people, make sure you find good reasons to reach out and connect with them. You want to build meaningful relationships with people and you should be thoughtful in your communications.