5 Tips All Professionals Should Know to Network Better

5 Tips All Professionals Should Know to Network Better

Networking is a scary and befuddling concept to the new professional. How do you connect with people purely for their business connections? How do you make contacts in your professional life without seeming like you are trying to hard? The secret to successful networking is to be honest, open, and genuine. People need to like you in order for you to network successfully. To help you get started, follow these five tips that all professionals should know if they want to network more successfully:

  1. Don’t Network Just For Your Own Benefit
    When you network specifically in mind to further your career or to get a new job, you are not only disingenuous, but you’re also discounting valuable people who could, one day, be of great use to you. Having a list of contacts in many different fields won’t hurt anyone, and networking only to further your own goals isn’t how you will make solid connections.
  2. Have Clear Objectives in Mind for Yourself
    Conversely, you need to have clear objectives and goals in mind when you network with others. If you let people know from the start who you are and what your aims are, they will better be able to help you when the time comes. Make these objectives clear and easy to remember when you are informing potential contacts about them. If you aren’t clear about what you want, then others won’t be able to know how to help you easily.
  3. Give Before You Ask For Something in Return
    When you are networking, don’t only expect others to help you. Instead, also think about how you can help the people you meet. Once you have done them a favor, you will be able to ask for one in return. Helping others further their own goals is how you will make strong connections and further your own career. If they do offer to help you first, remember that gesture, and see what you can do for them in return.
  4. Have a Unique Business Card
    When you are networking, it can be so easy to forget a name on both sides. That is why you always need to have business cards on you. Not only does it make you seem more professional, but you have also given your new contact your name and contact details. Therefore, they can remember and find you for later. To truly stand out, design a unique and eye-catching card using a free business card maker. The better the design, the more you’ll be remembered.
  5. Always Follow Up
    So many people don’t follow up after meeting someone. Take the initiative and follow up after every meeting, thanking them for their time and letting them know a rough timeline of how long things will take. Similarly, always respond to others’ emails – even if you’re away on vacation. Have an automated response set up when you’re away so that those who contact you know when you’ll be back in the office.

Networking is another way to make connections. Contacts are how you will further your career, but to do that you need to be genuine, be remembered, be communicative, and be willing to help others out.