Solid Strategies for Intensifying Your Professional Network
If you ask a professional how they have become highly skilled and financially strong, they would quickly say ‘My development is based on my contacts. Did you know? Building a diverse network can lead to gaining more innovative ideas and perspectives, according to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review. It is not about who you know, but how to appear interesting in the types of networks that can contribute to your personal and professional growth.
Hence, every successful professional should have different types of connections that can guide and lead them to deliver potential results, according to their needs and wants. Whether you love connecting with new people or maintaining relationships with existing friends, networking is an essential part of your success. If you know the magic of intensifying your professional network, your career journey will bring a lot of proficient wonders.
For a few, the word ‘networking’ can create uncomfortable and intimidating scenarios, not to mention the intimidation of small talk. But for others, it is a chance to release your social skills and engage with new people.
According to a study conducted:
- By LinkedIn, around 85% of all jobs are filled through the approach of networking.
- By PayScale, people with strong professional networks are more likely to earn higher salaries.
- By Virgin, networking can lead to new business opportunities, with 80% of professionals saying that networking has helped them grow their businesses
- By the Academy of Management, networking can also improve job satisfaction and overall well-being
- By Jobvite, networking through social media can be particularly effective, with 78% of recruiters finding their best candidates through social media.
Finally, networking is the most important approach that can deliver a series of career successes over time. Professionals should build and maintain strong professional relationships if they want to successfully reach their target. In this article, let’s meticulously focus on the top ten solid strategies for growing your professional network.
- Attending Networking Events
Networking is more than showing up, free drinks and snacks and exchanging business cards. Online or in-person networking conferences, webinars, and events will help get you to have connections with industry leaders. Every event can become an opportunity to build your professional relationship stronger because the key concept of any webinar is based on business development or management. Generally, business experts from different sectors participate in international business conferences. When you attend international networking events, you will have an opportunity to:
- Build long-term business relationships with industry leaders.
- Connect with potential clients or partners.
- Develop confidence in sharing your thoughts.
- Discover new career opportunities.
- Advance business communication skills.
- Exchange business knowledge and new business ideas.
- Meet experts for improving your branding.
- Increase the visibility and credibility of your brands.
- Learn about the latest industry trends.
- Meet various professionals from around the world to expand your network.
- Personal Branding
Having a successful career is not only about performing well in your key domain but also advancing personal branding. In this case, you are marketing yourself to the world of professionals and you should highly consider the image you want to portray to the professional world, the messages you want to deliver, and what makes you standout from the rest. If you want to set goals to reach the next level, you should have some strategies to promote personal branding, making yourself accessible to a wide range of professionals. The best way to build personal brands is to join networking because networking will provide you with confidential interpersonal connections that will help you gain traction. If you apply personal branding strategies to generate new contacts, you will also strengthen current contacts. What does personal branding do for you? It will:
- Build trust and credibility with others.
- Create a sense of personal fulfilment.
- Establish a unique and memorable identity.
- Expand networking opportunities and connections.
- Foster business growth and opportunities.
- Generate more leads and referrals.
- Help to differentiate from competitors.
- Increase visibility and industry recognition.
- Open doors to new career prospects.
- Strengthen professional reputation and authority.
- Contacting Former Workmates
As networking is a valuable tool for professional growth, one of the best places to start is with contacts you already know. If you have strong contacts in your previous position on good terms, you may also consider connecting with your former colleagues or even with your ex-boss. As you were co-working with them for years, your connections will become valuable when you share your present issues with them. When you have connections with them, you can:
- Build and expand professional network.
- They can represent you precisely as a reference
- Enable knowledge sharing and career advice.
- Enhance teamwork and problem-solving abilities.
- Establish trust and strengthens relationships.
- Facilitate personal and professional growth opportunities.
- Generates leads and referrals for future work.
- Increase job satisfaction and workplace engagement.
- Learn about industry trends from a different perspective.
- Provide industry and company updates and news.
- Rekindle old connections and friendships.
- Joining Professional Organizations
Along with joining groups on any social media platform, you may also join professional organizations or associations in your field. In order to be an effective networker you need to hype up your interaction and social skills. Meeting people within your profession will go much farther to achieving your networking goals than connecting online. Your connection can make it easier for you to contact people who know the ins and outs of your profession and have clear perceptions of what you can do. Joining professional organizations may land you to:
- Have access to training and professional development.
- Build long-term relationships with various experts.
- Connect with potential clients or partners.
- Learn leadership skills as you can gain insights from various industry leaders.
- Discover new career opportunities in different industries.
- Enhance your credibility and trust among executives, entrepreneurs, and innovators.
- Expand your network with like-minded professionals.
- Gain exposure and visibility of the latest industry minds.
- Share knowledge and expertise in your area.
- Have updated industry news and trends.
- Enhances your resume by adding your participation in a professional association
Partnership is the most important factor when it comes to developing professional networking. This includes connections with professionals from another field with the mission of expanding knowledge, nurturing partnerships, and improving your industry standing. To make this effective, you need to consider what you want, whom you want, and your preferred way of communication. Partnering with companies that align with your business needs will help you expand your business network. Every partner will guide you to move to different business functions, new technologies, and strategies. Partnerships will empower you to increase your reservoir of knowledge, expertise, and resources available to provide better products and reach the right audience. You may reap the following benefits if your partnerships work well. With the right partners, you will have the opportunity to:
- Build long-term relationships.
- Discover new resources and tools.
- Enhance product or service offerings.
- Expand your network and industry reach.
- Expand your reach and visibility.
- Find new growth opportunities.
- Have access to new markets and clients.
- Improve business processes and efficiencies.
- Increase credibility and trust.
- Share knowledge and expertise.-Ok for me
- Connection with the Alumni Association
As you surpass your University years of discovery, there will be a time when you will think about how you can contribute to society and to your industry. Having a connection with your alumni association is one of the fantastic approaches to strengthening your professional network. Alumni networking is as simple as research, reaching out, and follow-ups whether in person or online. If you are the ones that need long-time relationships with professionals, alumni associations will play a key role in connecting them by networking events for members. Connecting with professionals who graduated from the same institution will support you to:
- Build a sense of community and camaraderie.
- Enable industry and company updates and news.
- Enable lifelong learning and education opportunities.
- Enhance communication and leadership skills.
- Expand professional network and opportunities.
- Foster mentoring and knowledge sharing.
- Offer career development resources and advice.
- Offer opportunities for personal and professional growth.
- Provide access to job postings and leads.
- Provide exposure to diverse industries and professions.
With a database of professional contacts that have names, emails, phone numbers, and other information, create a professional setting of your interests. These contacts may be your organization, members of other organizations, employees, executives, or any stakeholders. Creating these databases may help you get contact details for specific professionals when you need suggestions and mentoring. An enriched database with various contacts may:
- Enable personalized and relevant outreach and follow-up.
- Enable targeted outreach for networking and collaboration.
- Enhance access to industry and company updates.
- Facilitate sharing of resources and knowledge.
- Generate leads and referrals for job opportunities.
- Improve communication and relationship-building skills.
- Increase productivity and time management skills.
- Organize professional contacts and information efficiently.
- Provide a centralized platform for tracking progress.
- Offer a competitive advantage in the global job market.
- Joining Industry Groups
Every industry has groups that are highly useful in developing knowledge in a particular area. The right networking group can never go wrong in helping you establish connections and continuously learn from like-minded individuals. If you join these industry groups, you may find partnerships and professional contacts within the field. And also it will allow you to share your business strategies with others. Joining such groups can offer many benefits such as:
- Boosting your personal and professional development.
- Connecting with potential clients or partners.
- Discovering new growth opportunities.
- Enhancing your credibility and trust.
- Exchanging industry knowledge and experiences.
- Expanding your network and visibility.
- Having access to new job opportunities.
- Having access to new resources and tools.
- Having updated industry news and trends.
- Sharing knowledge and expertise.
- Enhance your professional profile
- Improvement of your personal branding
- Increase your confidence by stepping out of your comfort zone
- Starting a New Networking Group
This is the best method of strengthening your professional network because you are a key player in this game. Networking is relevant to any type of business, may it be marketing, media, to the construction industry. Regardless of who you are and what your profession is, networking will surely make your business grow. You may develop your group by giving memberships to like-minded people. When you establish your networking group, you may conduct a series of conferences on different topics such as finance, marketing, or accounting. You can also become more connected with a lot of professional benefits as you can:
- Create a professional community for unified growth.
- Cultivate long-lasting relationships and friendships.
- Enable mentorship and career development opportunities.
- Enhance leadership and networking skills.
- Expand the network with like-minded individuals.
- Facilitate access to diverse perspectives and expertise.
- Foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing opportunities.
- Increase visibility and open doors to new opportunities.
- Provide a platform for showcasing expertise and thought leadership.
- Strengthen credibility and industry recognition.
- Enables you to do market research that can give you a unique perspective
- Developing Social Media Contacts
If you want professional development, networking with others via various platforms of social media will become highly useful. It allows you to interact with a wide range of professionals both locally and internationally. Social media channels remove geographical restrictions, allowing you to be in touch with a global base of customers and professionals. Building a professional network can help you grow your industry knowledge. Every social media provides you with a great opportunity to develop your network to the next level. With social media contacts, you may also engage with other industry professionals that have unique skill sets. These people can also prove to be valuable long-term contacts by:
- Building relationships with like-minded individuals.
- Connecting with professionals globally.
- Developing a professional online presence.
- Discovering new job opportunities.
- Engaging with potential clients or partners.
- Enhancing personal branding and enabling advertising
- Expanding their reach and visibility.
- Increasing credibility and trust.
- Sharing their expertise and knowledge.
- Having updated industry news and trends.
Intensifying your professional network is not an easy process. Putting your effort into searching the database and collecting contacts are time-consuming tasks. With slow and steady efforts, you can start increasing your professional network. Professional networking is essential in building a relationship for expanding your business operations if you are an entrepreneur. Professional networking will also play a key role in finding a job if you are an executive. With strong professional connections, everyone will have an easy approach to growing in their career.