Knowing the right people and having strong relationships with them that are built on trust can go a long way to helping you grow your business. The stronger your network, the wider your reach will be. But it’s not enough just to attend a networking event, shake a few hands, and hand out some business cards every few weeks. Going through the motions will get you nowhere, and networking isn’t something you should only do at special events.
You also have to remember that networking really is about who you know. It’s about building relationships with the right people. And while everyone you meet is a potential contact, it’s important to focus your efforts on networking with people who can actually help you achieve your business goals.
With that in mind, here are 4 ways you can build a better business network:
- Make a list of people you want to network with—Who are the people who can help you and your company? Start making a list. The list can include people you already know as well as those you don’t know at all just yet. Make a list of names, and add information about each contact, including how they can help your business.
- Stay in touch with these people—Communication is the key to any successful relationship. If you’re not talking to the people in your network, you’re not growing your relationships with them. They’ll forget about you. It’s important to reach out to the people in your network on a regular basis, whether it’s by shooting them an email to say hello, ReTweeting them, or sending them information that will help them. Be in touch!
- Learn about your contacts—You should spend time learning as much as you can about your contacts. Whenever you talk to them, ask questions to learn more about them. Do some Googling to find out more about these people. Pay attention to what they’re saying on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Take notes on all of this.
- Be helpful—You have to give if you want to receive. If you’re not bringing anything of value to the relationship, the other person won’t have much incentive to help you. That’s why it’s important to help the people in your network whenever you can. You should know what each person does, what their interests are, what their problems are, and so on. That way, you can find specific ways to help them and provide value.
What networking tips would you add to this list? Share your thoughts by commenting below.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html