Professional Networking Strategies

It might be an old saying, but it still holds true today. Who you know is as important as what you know. In fact one of the most essential skills you can learn as you grow in your career is the art of networking. You can thrive as a networker and start building relationships by following a few simple networking strategies.
Your networking strategy should be robust. 

From attending networking events to engaging on social media, there are a number of things you can do to be successful when it comes to networking. Networking can help you tap into a hidden job market, help you grow your small business and more. Learn more about networking strategies get started mingling your way into your next position.

10 Networking Strategies You Can Use

There are a number of strategies you can use to become a successful networker. Below are 10 networking strategies you can use to help advance in your career, build relationships with existing contacts, meet new people and more.

Start your networking strategy by making a full list of everyone you know.

Include family, friends, neighbors, current and former colleagues, classmates and professors and more. If you feel comfortable, consider reaching out to each person on your list. Tell them about your career goals. They might have information and resources for you.

Consider growing your network through your current network.

Ask the people on your list above for referrals and introductions. Ask if they know anyone who can help you achieve your networking goals.

Write your own “elevator speech.”

An elevator speech is a 30 second introduction about yourself that you can give new contacts along with your business card. Make your elevator speech about your professional life and accomplishments. Leave out personal details about your family, pets or hobbies.

Make up your own professional tagline.

You can use this on your LinkedIn profile, in your elevator speech, as your email signature, on your business cards and in any other place you can think of. Consider making your tagline 3-4 words.

Consider joining professional associations related to your career field.

These organizations and associations provide both professional development and networking opportunities. You can find local chapter meetings to attend and find others to connect with. Many of these groups hold conferences, conventions and workshops. These events give you an edge when it comes to career growth and networking.

Take advantage of a mentor.

A mentor can help guide you along your career path and advise you along the way. You can also take advantage of your mentor’s professional networks. Your mentor can open doors and serve as a resource for you.

Look for volunteer opportunities.

Not only is volunteering a great resume-builder, but it’s also an opportunity to get out and network. Extending a caring hand feels good, too. Look for causes that support your career goals or personal interests.

Build a personal brand.

Your personal brand is the way you present yourself and behave both online and offline. Your personal brand is based on what makes you an individual. Strong personal branding is what sets you apart from other professionals on the job market today. Your offline and online presence is your personal brand.

Start a blog or website.

A blog can support your personal brand, give you a chance to explore new ideas and trends in your profession. You can also use your blog as a personal website to showcase your resume, portfolio and more. It will display your expertise and set you apart from the crowd. You can also use the comment section on your blog to network and build authority. A website is especially important for business owners and business networking.

Use online networking tools.

Social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram give you a chance to interact with other professionals in your field and meet new people. These platforms allow you to share ideas, create content and more.
Regardless of whether you’re looking to land a new job or expand your professional circle, the above networking strategies can give you an edge and help you excel.

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