Why you Should Work at Networking.
Why you Should Work at Networking.
If the thought of networking fills you with dread – don’t let it! Networking comes in many forms these days and you can easily find what works for you – and basically you’ll have to as it’s clear that in most industries, networking is crucial to doing business.
Swapping business cards (or scanning codes, whatever the millenials are up to these days!) face to face, leads to… well, leads! We believe that working at networking is something everyone should be doing and is capable of.
Susan Jeffers was onto something with “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway” – a mantra for life, but one for the networking-shy for sure! But guess what, you don’t even have to get dressed up and shake hands with strangers to network anymore – the online world has introverts covered!
As a service provider to the recruitment industry, we have to “put ourselves out there” to be found. Our client base is (luckily for us) undoubtedly one of the most active on Linkedin – the recruitment industry! So linking, commenting, sharing and liking is second-nature, isn’t it? If it isn’t for you, here are some tips to expand your network and raise your profile without necessarily having to approach a stranger at the buffet table!
1. Linkedin is your starting point. Don’t be shy to connect to new people on Linkedin, but also don’t treat it is a free list of people to spam – be selective in your connections and tailor your approaches with a personal message when you can.
2. Face to face meet ups are still a thing. Social media is social, but meeting in IRL is still up there as a way to truly build relationships. There’s nothing quite like putting a face to a name over a canape and a glass of fizz! If this is your idea of hell, try attending with a few colleagues who can introduce you to others. If you make interesting connections at a real life event, don’t forget to follow up on email/phone/social media to fix yourself in their memory.
3. Sharing and engagement builds you up. Linkedin is your professional playground. No, we don’t mean start swapping your football cards or sharing news about your cat, but it’s a space where you can exchange business tips, share news about you and your industry and chat to others. Engaging online leads to connections and finding an audience of relevant people. So liking and commenting on threads gives you exposure with minimum effort.
4. Follow the right crowd. Twitter offers an opportunity to literally follow what people in your industry are talking about. Make sure you are following the right people, the right hashtags and sharing content (with the right hashtags) that will make them want to follow you back.
5. What’s App: the “private” social network! Creating business What’s App groups can be a great way to work on connections and share knowledge, without sharing it with the wider world. It could be you want a space to throw around creative ideas or ask questions to peers or perhaps you work alone, then this could substitute “office banter” for you! Whatever the reasons, if connecting with more privacy appeals, then set up a group and get others to add relevant people too, you may make some important connections.
We know first-hand that new clients come to us via our blogs/activity on Linkedin or from seeing us at an event. This doesn’t happen through chance – you have to work at raising your profile, work at your online activity and you’ll see the rewards in the resulting new business connections. So don’t be shy, take our advice and start working at networking!