Expand Your Professional Circle With These Effective Networking Tips
Nowadays, social connections are an integral part of being successful in the business world. Research published in the journal Scientific Reports found startups that establish professional networks early on often show signs of long-term economic success. For businesses looking to succeed, the benefits of professional networking are hard to ignore. From effective strategies to the latest tech know-how, it's clear that professional networks are a great avenue through which knowledge can be gained and shared to further a company's economic performance.
Taking the time to build professional networks in and out of your related fields can go a long way in navigating your business' journey, especially amidst economic uncertainty. Below, we discuss effective ways to expand your professional circle.
While virtual networking events are gaining popularity, there is still much to gain from physical networking events — including the chance to step out of your comfort zone. Networking via social media or networking platforms is a good first step. When trying to grow your career and business, however, it's important to comfortably meet and talk to different people, and hone your public speaking skills. This TechnologyHQ article highlights the advantages of networking with like-minded people, allowing you to learn from these people and connect on a more physical level, compared to e-mails or video conferences.
Physical, face-to-face meetings can be intimidating, but if approached correctly, can sharpen your social skills along the way. They are also fun on top of being professionally beneficial, so reminding yourself that food, drinks, and entertainment that are available may help you relax in the face of physical networking events.
Invest in business cards
An important rule of networking is that first impressions matter. Like other forms of networking, appearance and presentation is crucial to establishing yourself among potential professional contacts. As such, business cards are a symbol of professionalism, and should be part of your networking arsenal. While the traditional act of exchanging physical cards can be just as effective, technological advancements these days are allowing for more convenient and creative ways to present yourself to new contacts. The digital business cards created by Doorway show how virtual cards allow users to customize designs, then let contacts scan a QR code on their card — which automatically saves on their phone, even without an internet connection. Digital business cards are not just a trendy alternative, but are eco-friendly as well, while ensuring potential contacts don't just lose your card.
Keep in mind that your business card is a representation of what you do, as well as what your business is about, so make sure to design your card accordingly. This can be an effective way to stand out in networking events, where you likely won't be the only one offering business cards.
Focus on purpose
In our previous post entitled "Three Things That High Achievers Do", we highlighted the importance of purpose and how you can use it to connect the dots between your business' mission, vision, and goals. We note that often, what really sets high-achievers — and therefore, successful businesses — apart is how they live their lives and go after their goals.
When networking for work, it's important to reach out to people who are not only purpose-driven, but also align with your set values. Networking is, after all, a means for you to reach out to people who can help further your career and business growth. Working with talents who share your values will go a long way to helping you reach your business goals.
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