What will we see in this post
- Understand that quality is more important than quantity;
- Offer a relationship of exchange and always be useful to your contacts;
- Keep in touch constantly and not only when you need help;
- Define the strengths and professional experiences you wish to share;
- Learn how to promote yourself, but be careful not to sound arrogant;
- Be active on networks such as LinkedIn;
- Develop your personal brand and authority by creating content;
- Have a networking partner;
- Never bad-mouth your competitors;
- Develop techniques to lose your shyness;
- Interact outside your work environment.
Many people know the term networking, but they have a very simplistic view of the process, reducing it to simply making professional connections to numbers on social media, attending events or exchanging business cards.
But in fact, networking goes way beyond that. It is about building a community, in which dialogue and the exchange of knowledge is constant and productive for all participants, and this is exactly what we’re going to address in this post!
Keep reading and check out 11 practical tips to expand your professional network.
What is networking and what are its advantages?
Networking is a way to develop professional relationships in different environments and use these relationships with a purpose.
Regardless of the reason for strengthening and creating closer negotiations or seize opportunities in the job market, maintaining good relationships is essential for any professional.
When we are aware of this and think about building a career, we see that with efficient networking, new opportunities can arise, as well as the exchange of relevant information, experiences and knowledge.
It is easy to notice that success is often directly linked to relationships developed over time. And we aren’t just talking about professional success, since it is fundamental to relate well to people in all areas.
Another advantage of having a great network of contacts and maintaining good professional relationships is the contribution in quality and work satisfaction. The exchange of experiences helps us see possible solutions to certain problems that we might not have realized on our own.
In addition, with good networking you can strengthen your professional image, find partners with a vision similar to your own, and achieve more expressive results.
11 tips for good networking
You might have noticed that meeting people in your market is a great strategy for those who seek to grow professionally.
But how do you build a network of contacts that achieves this purpose?
We’ve selected 11 tips to help you create a quality network.
Check them out:
Quality is the most important factor in networking. Therefore, establish real relationships where there is engagement, in other words, where people know who you are and interact with the content you share.
In addition, if you do not have a quality network, your perception of this concept goes back to the simplistic view we mentioned at the beginning of this post, that networking is nothing more than having multiple friends on your social media and exchanging business cards.
A network of contacts, thought of in this manner, is useless and doesn’t work.
So think of these professional contacts as something much bigger and more important than merely quantity, and focus on meeting people who might really be important to your business, and build relationships with them.
A good example to represent this topic in the digital market is to send relevant content to your contacts. You will be useful to them by forwarding information that they have interest in or need, and may ask them in exchange to promote, provide feedback or a specific action.
If you can help someone and ask nothing in return, that person will surely remember you, especially if you offer a solution to a problem that that person is facing.
It is also possible to propose projects or invite your contacts to relevant events related to both of your areas of activity. That way, you will also be useful and still maintain a good relationship.
This tip is very important to keep relationships as organic as possible.
Even if your relationship is only professional, it is important to show people that you care about them and that you will be there for them when they need you too. A network of professional relationships only generates value if it is a two-way street in which both sides need to help each other in some way.
Remember to be helpful and maintain a constant relationship, and when you need something in return, you will certainly be helped.
To stand out professionally you need to share your strengths and experiences that are relevant to your contacts. Thus, you will select the right contacts who are interested in your main professional features.
This tip is even more important for anyone looking for a job. After all, recruiters need to know in which ways you stand out from the other candidates.
Self-promotion is essential for any professional or business interested in growing; and no one better than yourself to do your personal marketing.
Stand out from others by being authentic and sincere.
But be careful not to sound arrogant and share information that is not relevant to your network of contacts! This only prevents you from networking well and makes possible contacts distance themselves from you.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network.
If you know how to use it well, and show your qualities on it, you will be able to network well, associating yourself with businesses and people with values similar to yours.
In addition, in this type of network, you can maintain direct contact with your audience and generate more engagement, especially by creating quality content.
So be active on LinkedIn and other social media where your cycle of contacts is present, taking care to share useful information; after all, those who aren’t seen, are forgotten.
With texts, you gain the trust of your audience, and with the videos, you create empathy.
There is also the possibility of providing rich content for free in exchange for your lead’s contact information.
Having a partner who can promote your work and you promote his/hers is a very advantageous practice, capable of increasing your network of contacts and the reach of your content.
If both of you feel awkward about self-promotion, you can do this for your partner and vice versa.
But be careful so as not to recommend products or services that you wouldn’t use, only for the purpose of creating closer relationships, because this may jeopardize your relationship with your followers.
In fact, you shouldn’t speak ill of anyone, because this can jeopardize your network, and your personal relationships.
In addition, your competition might become a business partner in the future.
So play nice and don’t bad-mouth others. Only focus your efforts on you and on your own business.
Being shy is normal, especially in places with a lot of people we don’t know. But you can take certain measures to create a good network while being shy. Some of them are:
- Ask an intermediary to introduce you to the people you wish to contact. This relieves the pressure;
- Make initial contacts online;
- Get there early. It is far less intimidating to approach someone when there aren’t so many people around;
- Think in advance of the questions you will ask each person you wish to meet;
- Be objective. That way you won’t have to waste time talking about irrelevant matters.
A relaxed place is also a good place to network. So, take advantage of these moments to invite a few people to events outside of working hours. This way you can get to know them better.
But, besides inviting, be ready to say yes when you are invited. Being present in places makes you be remembered and increases your chances of building genuine relationships.
It is also important to be present frequently at places where people related to your market are. This way, you won’t run the risk of being seen as someone who only shows up when you need something.
BONUS TIP: Join the FIRE Festival!
Of all the tips for good networking, going to the FIRE Festival is without doubt the best of them all. After all, there’s no use in reading all these tips if you don’t have a place to put them into practice: The FIRE Festival is the perfect environment to meet people, kickoff projects, and start partnerships.
Participating in an event of this size is essential for those who want to expand their network of contacts with quality, because the most engaged professionals and entrepreneurs in Brazil and the world will be present there too!
It will last for 3 days (September 27, 28 and 29) full of ideas, creativity, innovation and business opportunities.
Do you wish to attend the festival with good networking? Go to the event’s official website and find out everything you need to know about the FIRE Festival.