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Six steps to grow your professional network

Six steps to grow your professional network

Guide

Six steps to grow your professional network

We’re sure you’ve heard the old saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”  While this expression may be true, it doesn’t offer any insight into how you gset to know the right people. Here at Payfort, we’re always on the lookout for that you can use to become more successful and we believe building and maintaining a strong professional network is one of the most important things you can do within business.

This week we’ve put together six important pointers that you can use to help you grow your professional network. The right connections can open doors with some amazing opportunities behind them, so here are six tips to help you grow your professional network.

Make your presence noticeable.

This is the first and most important step, it’s up to you to make sure people know what you are doing and what you can offer – if you don’t who will. Make sure you keep in touch with your professional contacts via email, social media and face-to-face meetings and keep your profiles up to date.

If you maintain contact you’ll remain on their radar, which can get your name dropped at just the right moment. A simple, “I know somebody you should contact” can will always take your further than a resume.

Don’t always take — give as well.

When you’re out socializing make sure you’re not too focused on you — make sure to share knowledge and offer to help whenever you see an opportunity. When you offer to help other people, something will often come back to you tenfold. The simple fact is people don’t like to owe someone, when you help them it gives an extra incentive to return the favor.

You can give by being a ‘connector,’ bringing two people together who you know who will benefit from the relationship strengthens your overall network and can help to build better business relationships. The takeaway is a simple one: don’t be selfish and also consider how you can help the people you come in contact with.

Hang out at the same places the people you want to connect with hang out.

This might seem obvious but few people actually take the time to follow this advice. Being aware of the connections you want to make should inform both online and offline efforts.

Online make sure you participate in the groups you want to connect with and always make a point to introduce yourself (remember the first point). Offline be aware of the popular lunch spots or after hour work hangouts. When you’re out, make a point to be friendly and social, you’ll others are just as eager to make new connections as well.

Never be afraid to ask.

This one is the simple and the easiest to implement in day to day life – if there’s something you want don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Want an introduction with a business? Ask for it.

Want a meeting with you boss? Ask for it.

Want advice or feedback on your ideas? Ask for it.

Follow up with everyone you connect with.

Follow up with every connection you make! If come home at the end of a conference with a few business cards, take a few minutes and send an email letting the person know it was a pleasure to meet them.

This isn’t just a friendly gesture; it’s also a great opportunity to let them know that they can reach out should they need anything.

Always think about long-term relationships.

Making a connection and exchanging business cards is a foot in the door, but it’s rarely going to get the long-term relationships that lead to business deals. It takes concentration and time (often a lot of time) to establish a two-way street where both parties are comfortable.

Let you relationships grow organically and always think about the information above. Also, one important but often ignored rule if you promise to do something — do it. There is nothing worse for a relationship than telling someone you’ll do something and not following through.

This week we’ve put together six important pointers that you can use to help you grow your professional network. The right connections can open doors with some amazing opportunities behind them, so here are six tips to help you grow your professional network.

Make your presence noticeable.

This is the first and most important step, it’s up to you to make sure people know what you are doing and what you can offer – if you don’t who will. Make sure you keep in touch with your professional contacts via email, social media and face-to-face meetings and keep your profiles up to date.

If you maintain contact you’ll remain on their radar, which can get your name dropped at just the right moment. A simple, “I know somebody you should contact” can will always take your further than a resume.

Don’t always take — give as well.

When you’re out socializing make sure you’re not too focused on you — make sure to share knowledge and offer to help whenever you see an opportunity. When you offer to help other people, something will often come back to you tenfold. The simple fact is people don’t like to owe someone, when you help them it gives an extra incentive to return the favor.

You can give by being a ‘connector,’ bringing two people together who you know who will benefit from the relationship strengthens your overall network and can help to build better business relationships. The takeaway is a simple one: don’t be selfish and also consider how you can help the people you come in contact with.

Hang out at the same places the people you want to connect with hang out.

This might seem obvious but few people actually take the time to follow this advice. Being aware of the connections you want to make should inform both online and offline efforts.

Online make sure you participate in the groups you want to connect with and always make a point to introduce yourself (remember the first point). Offline be aware of the popular lunch spots or after hour work hangouts. When you’re out, make a point to be friendly and social, you’ll others are just as eager to make new connections as well.

Never be afraid to ask.

This one is the simple and the easiest to implement in day to day life – if there’s something you want don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Want an introduction with a business? Ask for it.

Want a meeting with you boss? Ask for it.

Want advice or feedback on your ideas? Ask for it.

Follow up with everyone you connect with.

Follow up with every connection you make! If come home at the end of a conference with a few business cards, take a few minutes and send an email letting the person know it was a pleasure to meet them.

This isn’t just a friendly gesture; it’s also a great opportunity to let them know that they can reach out should they need anything.

Always think about long-term relationships.

Making a connection and exchanging business cards is a foot in the door, but it’s rarely going to get the long-term relationships that lead to business deals. It takes concentration and time (often a lot of time) to establish a two-way street where both parties are comfortable.

Let you relationships grow organically and always think about the information above. Also, one important but often ignored rule if you promise to do something — do it. There is nothing worse for a relationship than telling someone you’ll do something and not following through.

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Dalia Gammal

Marketing Specialist PAYFORT

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