Learning how to grow your network might be your most resourceful skill today. As a career or business person, your success depends partly on your ability to establish valuable human relationships. On your quest for success, your ambition may require you to reach out to people and connect with them(offline or online). Most times, these people have what we need or are closer to the people in possession of what we need. It is here that our network begins to work for us.
How to Grow Your Network
- Leverage Your Existing Network
Families, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances make up our existing network. Our social media friends on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other channels can also be in the existing network. However, social media classification depends on how well you engage and connect with your social media friends.
Regarding career or business growth, members of our existing network can be influential for our cause. Many of them are willing to go extra miles in putting in good words for us or recommending us for opportunities. Although it’s easier to take such luxury for granted these days, this shouldn’t be the case. At the beginning of our business or career adventure, our existing networks become the customers, referrals, and even supporters.
Similarly, social media friends can be great referrals and even customers on our business and career journey. The story of Tesa and her journey to diversifying her income gives a clear example.
Therefore, it’s essential that we understand the relevance of an existing network as you grow your network. Sometimes, we are tempted to think all successful journeys must start from level zero, or with some big investor and an elevator pitch. In fact, our existing networks can be the real beginning of our success if we look within our circle.
- Be Valuable To Your Network
Many reasons can push us to reach out to people outside our network. The purpose might be to advance our business or career interests. But when there is no one to connect us we begin to think about how to grow our network. Usually, the recommendation is to attend an event and socialize. That’s cool. But we are at an advantage when we offer value to people in our existing network and target audience.
This idea is applicable to those who want to learn how to build a business or career network. For businesses, your existing network might be your current clients or customers. For career people, they may be your former colleagues or friends working in other companies. Being a person of value puts you in their good books. You are likely to get more referrals and recommendations from them.
For instance, the idea of giving first has sparked a crazy trend in sales which is called the lead magnet. You offer value first to your existing network and watch them refer you to those in their networks. You offer this same value to your target audience and it attracts them to you. In a take-take world, the givers tend to attract people to their network. This is more effective than the regular chase which can be exhausting.
Additionally, you are more likely to get recommendations as an expert in a field if you’ve used the skill to help some in your network. They can be your family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Likewise, they can include online networks. How are you adding value to the people in your social or professional network?
This is not a new thing but it’s getting reborn in social media and all areas of digital marketing. A great example is the social media system of connecting users. Social media networks suggest pages and personal profiles with people who share similar interests. This demonstration means you are likely to get referred to people if your value level matches theirs.
- Strategically Position Yourself
“Yes, it’s all about location.” Very true. But when it comes to building your network with the right people, you need to strategically position yourself in that location. Arming yourself with the right message can help you better target and convince those you need in your network.
It’s easier for those who position and introduce themselves as valuable people and as problem solvers. With a great introduction, your target audience is able to quickly see and identify your worth instantly. They already know how you will be useful to them.
On Persuasion Network, we share valuable content to educate people who want to build a successful career while chasing their side-business dreams. This example is a better introduction than we love writing because it helps us attract specific readers to our network.
Tools to Grow Your Network in a Digital Age
This is the digital age and most of the networking happens online. So as a business or career person, you will need to email or directly message (DM) investors, potential clients, recruiters, and different classes of people that are not in your existing network. You may have their emails or their social network IDs. But they don’t know you. How do you get their attention?
You need to possess powerful Introduction Tools like Cover Letters. Cover letters help businesses and career persons make powerful email introductions that leave lasting impressions on contacts. It’s time to grow your business and career network.