Ever heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” While you need to know what you’re doing to find true success, knowing the right people can certainly help you get where you want to be.
Marketing yourself to strangers is always a part of selling your services but building connections and expanding your network is essential to finding your dream opportunities.
So, how do you make those connections and expand your circle? Here are 5 of my favorite tips for growing your network.
Tip #1: Start with Who You Already Know
You might not think of your neighbors or friends as business connections, but they can end up being the gateway to a larger, more diverse group of contacts. After all, your friends might not need your services, but one of their colleagues could be looking for help.
Or your neighbor’s brother might work at a company you’d love to do a project for. Don’t overlook the people you already know, even if the connection seems totally unrelated to your professional goals.
Tip #2: Attend Networking Events
You know those advertisements for networking events at colleges and co-working spaces? Try to go to them. It’s a great way to meet new people and connect to your local professional network.
Much like the people you already know, the people here could be the key to tapping into your desired circles, even if they seem unrelated at the time.
Tip #3: Join Industry Groups
No matter what industry you’re in, there are at least a handful of groups out there where professionals go to connect and learn.
Seek these groups out and get involved. While you’ll find plenty on sites like LinkedIn and Alignable, you might be able to find some local groups in your community, too.
Tip #4: Look Past the Obvious
It’s easy to have a narrow mindset when it comes to networking. When you know what your end goal is, the blinders go on and it’s harder to see potential opportunities that are outside of your game plan.
Look beyond what you think you need, and you’ll find a whole slew of opportunities you didn’t know existed.
Tip #5: Ask for Referrals
Don’t be afraid to ask others to spread the word about what you do. Hand out your business cards and let people know you’re actively looking for more opportunities.
You’ll be surprised how willing most people are to recommend your services when the opportunity presents itself.
Expanding your network is a great way to get closer to your goals and discover amazing opportunities. Start with who you already know and then expand your circle by attending events, joining groups, staying open-minded and asking for referrals.
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