Networking now plays such a huge part in business, from finding a career to finding prospective clients. More than ever it’s about who you know.
A recent statistic tells us that 80% of jobs are found and achieved through networking. Often these jobs roles aren’t advertised formally, instead companies are turning to staff recommendations brought about through networking, to fill positions.
If you’re not finding the results you’re after from your job searching, it could be that you’re simply not talking with the right people, from the right circles. Here are a few tips to help you get on the right track.
The traditional form of networking seems to still be the most valuable. There’s no better way than to get a feel for a person than speaking to them face to face.
Step 1: Find your platform
The first step is to find the right event with appropriate people. Read industry magazines, visit meet-up sites and listen out for any relevant industry events. Industry awards, product launches and conferences are perfect situations.
Step 2: Talk
Talk to new and different people, both within your industry and out. To do this effectively, keep up to date about your industry and have an opinion about what’s going on. And remember, you need to be able to sell yourself and your skills, without it dominating the conversation. Network is about being friendly and forming relationships, not making the hard sell.
Step 3: Follow up
Don’t wait for people to get in contact with you. Follow up on any connections you make. This could simply be to thank them for some advice they’d given you, or to ask their opinion on a subject. Whatever you do, keep the conversation flowing and keep your name at the forefront of people’s minds.
In this digital world, online networking is becoming more and more important. This is especially prevalent when following up with a contact you’ve previously made a connection with.
Step 1: Share content
When your connections find you online, you need to make an instant impression with the type of content you’re sharing. Just as your conversation needs to be engaging, relevant and interesting, so does the content you’re either curating or creating.
Step 2: Make connections
Use your offline connections to grow your online connections. This means utilising the connections of your connections. There will be a whole wealth of people who are relevant to you and your career goals. Find them and make a great impression.
Step 3: Join circles
There are plenty of online networks and circles you can join via social media platforms. This could be through adding to a Twitter hash tag, including your own comments in a Facebook discussion or joining an industry group with LinkedIn. Like never before social media is offering us the opportunity to engage with a huge range of people, companies and brands; make the most out of it.
To make a start in creating a rich and useful network, try utilising the connections of a relevant brand. Take Nationwide for example, their social platforms are a great place to join conversations. Follow them on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Get your name out into the industry for all the right reasons. Remember networking isn’t about fooling anyone, but simply about making real connections and forming a bond with people, so that when a job becomes available, your name is first on the list of trustworthy, viable options.