I’ve written a little bit about the importance of having a professional network and how to use one.
Now I want to talk about how to build one. The first step is to identify a group of people who are currently doing what you want to do. If you’re at school or university, this could be the team that runs your student newspaper, for example; if you work for a big company this could be the people in your division who have been promoted recently; if you’re a freelancer it might be other freelancers you know from Twitter or in real life.
Next, make an effort to get to know them. If you can, arrange lunch with them (or if not, Skype), and ask about their career and how they got where they are now. See if there’s anything in their story that relates to your situation. Then try to stay in touch with them by email or social media. And if there’s any way you can help them out – perhaps by recommending good writers you know – do so.
You might think I’m making too much of this, but every single time I’ve done this over the last five years it has directly led to a job interview or an article commission within months – and once, within days.
Networking is about building and strengthening relationships. It’s a skill for establishing and maintaining connections with key individuals and organizations to help expand your knowledge, grow your business, or advance your career.
Networking may sound intimidating, but it’s a simple and effective way to meet people. If you are looking to build your professional network, there are many ways to do it. You can get started by focusing on the following:
Determine Your Goals
What do you want to achieve through networking? What are you trying to get out of it? Ask yourself these questions before attending any event or meeting so you can make the most of each interaction.
Once you have determined your goals, think about who you need to meet to achieve them. Who should be in your network? Make a list of people in your field from whom you can learn more about the industry. Or if you are looking for potential partnerships, try identifying companies in related fields that would be mutually beneficial for both sides.
Ask for Introductions
Any time someone refers you to another person or company, it opens doors and makes introductions easier because people tend to trust their friends. This is why having a strong network is so important; when people know who you are and what
A strong, supportive network is an essential part of a successful career. Having a network that includes mentors, colleagues, and friends helps you to gain new perspectives and gain access to new opportunities.
Many people think that building their professional networks means attending networking events or joining professional organisations. However, building a good professional network doesn’t have to be draining or expensive. It’s not just about meeting people; it’s also about making connections with like-minded individuals who can help you grow.
Whether you’re starting out in your career or looking for a career change, follow these tips to build a valuable network that will help you in the long run:
The value of a network lies in the people who make it up. The best way to approach networking is to start by connecting with people who are already in your circle of contacts. Consider the people you know personally and professionally and see if they can help connect you with others.
Another good way to find connections is through your local business community, such as members of the local chamber of commerce or other trade associations, or through industry-related conferences and events.
Once you’ve identified some people to begin connecting with, you can use any number of methods to reach out to them. For example, LinkedIn provides an easy way for members to invite one another to connect. You can also send an e-mail introducing yourself, or pick up the phone and call someone directly. Remember, networking is a two-way street: don’t be afraid to ask for an introduction, but also be willing and prepared to offer one when someone asks you for help.
The real work begins once you’ve established a connection. As you build your network over time, it’s important to invest energy into maintaining relationships that are valuable to both parties
There’s a saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” And there’s a lot of truth to that.
I can tell you from personal experience, knowing a few people in the music industry has been INSTRUMENTAL in my own career as a musician.
Let me explain…
Years ago I wanted to get into music education, so I started teaching myself jazz and blues guitar with no formal training (other than the few lessons I took when I was younger).
I was making slow progress, but then one day I met this guy named Guthrie Govan at a local guitar store.
I had no idea who he was (he later became the guitarist for rock band “Asia” and has since become world renowned for his amazing guitar playing), but we hit it off and ended up trading lessons.
Then, over the next few years I kept meeting more and more musicians through him (because they all knew him) and that’s how I got my first job as a professional musician (playing in a band with him).
And it doesn’t stop there…
Through Guthrie, I met this other guy who ran a record label where I eventually released an album. And through him, I met yet another record
Networking isn’t about getting ahead. It’s about giving to others. The more you give, the more you get back.
You have to be willing to put in the work to create relationships. If you’re not willing, then don’t waste your time and ours.
The best way to network is to help other people. The more you help, the more they’ll want to help you back.
Making introductions is one of the best ways you can help people. Introduce them to the right person and you can really change their lives sometimes.
If you’re going to make an introduction, make it as easy as possible for the other two people. Include a brief message that captures why these people should meet each other.
Between the lines of the personal ads, there is a message to be found: people want to know who they are. It’s not just a matter of what someone looks like or how charming he or she is. There is a need for a real connection–for a true meeting of minds and hearts.
The greatest benefit of personal ads is that they provide an easy, convenient way for people to make that connection. They allow you to learn about another person through a carefully chosen selection of interests, activities and views. At the same time, they help you determine if you have something in common with the person behind the ad–or if you are compatible with that person–before you meet face-to-face.
The trick is to write an ad that will speak to those who might be your best match while also revealing your true self. Here are some pointers to creating that perfect ad: