Network Like a Pro
Networking is a very important tool for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Knowing how to leverage ones network is even more important as it may be the difference between failure and success.
Sometimes leveraging your network can feel a little unnatural and awkward right? Effective networking is the process of building and maintaining relationships, not just collecting contacts which you’ll most likely forget about and only call when you need a favor. Networking efficiently is about having people you can draw on when you need help and support and availing yourself to them when they need the same. Here are a few tips to help make the process feel a little more organic and help you gain meaningful relationships.
Put time into your existing relationships both at work and beyond. Your network won’t thrive if you neglect it. Nurture it, a coffee date here and there will go a long way.
Keep it casual and just have a conversation. Ask people about their hobbies and passions instead of asking them where they work. You’ll be surprised how easily the conversation will flow.
Don’t monopolize the conversation. Listen and build on the conversation with your response. Remember to ask open ended questions.
Proactively share information that you think will be useful to others. If you can offer to help.
Always say thank you. Everybody likes to be appreciated
Remember: Network to make authentic connections and be genuine. One doesn’t need to be a social butterfly to achieve this. Effective networking is a process, not a one time event. Gaining a useful contact is great but maintaining a relationship with them is the greatest!