A professional network is vital to your career development and professional success. It can offer you career guidance, business opportunities, and a robust support system.
Keep in mind that it requires conscious effort to sustain and increase business contacts gradually for it to be effective.
If you are keen to know how to expand your professional network, look no further. This article will give you strategies that can guide you through the process.
By the end of it, we hope you get to know the importance of networking to your career and ways to develop a vast list of business contacts.
Email is a great way to maintain and expand your professional network. This free, fast, and convenient tool lets you check in with your contacts and share an update on your career goals and future plans.
These contacts can be your previous supervisors, former colleagues, people from a networking event, or virtual friends you have connected with in the past or have recently met.
Make sure to compose a brief email and make it conversational. To add a personal touch, call them by their first name, share personal stories initially, and ask questions that would need a response.
You can also check some email templates that you can easily edit when keeping in touch with old and new contacts.
By writing check-in emails once in a while, others will feel connected to you and be more accommodating if ever you need any help in the future.
If you are looking for a group of people who have similar interests, be sure to join an online community. It is an excellent way to network, share information, and find support in the industry.
Some free or paid membership platforms related to your career or industry can let you access some relevant private groups.
You can be vocal about your needs, discuss your career milestones, and receive thoughtful feedback in these spaces.
When you consistently engage and build relationships in relevant online communities, more people can encourage and support you in your professional journey.
Updating your LinkedIn profile lets you share your career information with your network through notifications.
Once they receive an alert, there’s a high possibility that your connections on the professional networking platform will check your profile changes.
Write a compelling headline with the right keywords about what you do and where you want to take your career.
For example, you might be currently a freelance writer, but you desire a job related to writing and editing. We advise you to use a headline that contains the words “writer” and “editor” to increase your chances of being found.
Most recruiters are always on the lookout for the best candidates. They are most likely to search for specific skills or keywords.
For this reason, they can come across your profile, connect with you, and may even offer potential job opportunities.
In the same way, you can initiate a conversation, especially when they are from the same industry or the company you’re eyeing on.
Once your bio reflects your industry, you’ll likely gain relevant followers. Now is the time to create an industry-specific feed that lets you share your insights about your profession to boost engagement.
You can establish more authority online when you increase engagement with your network. One way to do it is to add some takeaways to every article you post to encourage readers to start a conversation.
Social media can be a useful tool that connects your industry authority and business opportunities together when done right.
However, keep in mind that reaching your prospective audience starts with a great social media profile with the right following and followers.
Social media is an easy and enjoyable tool to get to know people, keep in touch, and send private messages to ask how they are doing.
Posting informative news, hilarious videos, and inspirational quotes now and then on the platform of your choice generates interest and initiates interactions with others.
Moreover, it helps you maintain that connection with your professional network while keeping it casual.
Sending relatable articles that interest others is also a quick and organic way to build rapport and make connections spontaneously.
Whether you utilize social media to market your business or to share content, you must be engaging but still able to maintain a modest presence.
Face-to-face conversations allow you to get to know other people more in a way that is not possible remotely. It is always a good idea to check-in with your network the way you would in person, but over video calls.
Most people are still adjusting to life during a pandemic. Following a virtual social calendar despite the occasional tension and discomfort of getting used to a new routine would help.
For effective video conferencing, test the software first and know its features, especially if it’s your first time to use it. Ensure that you have a strong Internet connection and that you plugged in your device.
Video conferencing offers numerous benefits, like team collaboration and workplace camaraderie.
The main advantage of it is building great connections without requiring constant travel for face-to-face communication.
Professional networking is a great opportunity to learn industry best practices, exchange business ideas, and identify new business leads.
Participating in a virtual speed networking event helps you meet hundreds of relevant people in the industry within a short amount of time.
It maximizes your time by giving you the chance to easily connect with professionals who can offer you real business opportunities.
If you are interested in joining a virtual networking event for professionals, check our Speed Networking feature. It is an easy and innovative way to make connections in event rooms, event community and one-on-one meetings.
What’s more, it allows professionals to share their contact information through digital business cards quickly. You can also manage roles and permissions, and adjust session length with administrator privileges.
You can leverage social media once you’ve registered for an event and search for people you want to connect with on LinkedIn and other professional social networking sites.
Start with the event agenda before you write down the names of the speakers you're interested in talking to.
Once you’ve come up with a list, gather the most salient information and think of practical ways to effectively include them in your outreach.
Getting to know people on a personal level before a business level goes a long way. It makes others feel more comfortable and be more receptive to network with you and build relationships.
Now that you know how to expand your professional network, remember that growing it fast isn’t an easy task.
It requires a significant amount of effort to find common ground, build rapport, and create shared experiences for it to be possible.
With all the information we have provided, we hope you’re now equipped to build more meaningful connections, which can offer the most rewarding experiences to your personal growth and professional success.
If you plan to host a successful online networking event, consider booking a demo of our Speed Networking tools, and we’ll guide you in the planning and execution.