Every interaction you have, with everyone from your pet sitter to your massage therapist, is an opportunity to network professionally. But how do you most effectively represent and market your company or personal brand without seeming opportunistic, inappropriate, or intrusive?
Here are some quick tips-off to help you make connections, expand your social network, and foster professional relationships.
Be Interactive .
Extroverted people seem to have it so simple, building friends with everyone from their UPS delivery person to other puppy proprietors in the park! But these interactions donat rely on actually connecting profoundly with everyone; instead, building successful connections can be as easy as observe and remembering things about the person or persons you insure often. Taking the time to notification and acknowledge the people you routinely interact with can help you widen your social network slowly but significantly. For instance, recollecting your law officeas UPS carrieras name and inquiring about her newborn can help your brief interactions be social connections as well as routine service calls. Carrying an extra biscuit to the dog park can help you win over a friendly puppy( and his owner ). When your UPS carrier needs to write a will or your park friend gets a speeding ticket, you might be the first lawyer to pop into their intellects.
Be aware of what people do and what they need, and make people aware of what you do and the needs you fulfillawithout trying to sell them anything. As the old axiom goes, apeople like to work with people they like.a Most everyone participates in social groups outside of work, which can be fertile ground for potential professional connections. Use your social media profiles to post links to interesting articles about your profession; share amusing anecdotes about your job during long run with your training group; or volunteer at the food bank wearing your company t-shirt. If youare an event planner, for example, the more people in your social network who know what you do, like you, and think you are trustworthy, the more likely it is that one of them will call you when they need to plan a wedding or corporate event. Expanding your social network multiplies your chances to use your social connections for professional advancement( without being a pest ).
Be Sincere .
Most people can tell when theyare being aschmoozeda or manipulated, and few react well. If youare not a social butterfly, but youare at an event that calls for some social interaction, try being honest about your discomfort: aI never know what to say at these things! Small talk just isnat my strong pointaIam more of a numbers and details kind of person. Hi, Iam Julie, by the way.a Especially in situations where you feel vulnerable or exposedaliterally or figurativelyabeing open about your insecurity can earn you respect.
Another great style to gain and strengthen connections, especially if youare not great at chit-chat, is to ask open-ended questions and genuinely listen to the responses. Most people like to talk about themselves, their passions, their children, etc ., so asking questions, pay attention to their answers, and remember them( insure tip# 1 ). If you donat feel comfy chatting with your hair stylist, ask him how he got into styling, what his dream chore is, what his favorite movie or pop culture hair inspiration is, etc. and just let him talk. Youall be surprised how close this can build people feel to you without you having to share anything.
Donat Force It .
I was lately on a plane sitting next to a woman who was frightened to fly. We chatted a bit as the plane ascended about the safety and physics of flight and the beautiful scenery we expected to see along the way. When we reached altitude, she settled in to enjoy the view, and I whipped out my laptop to work on a blog for a custom homebuilder. When she turned back to me to point out the majesty of the Grand Canyon, she noticed my work in progress; as it turned out, she was a Realtor. After talking briefly about the advantages of retaining a content creation expert to write your business blog and the current state of the real estate market in her location, we exchanged cards and returned to our respective activities.
Nothing about this encounter felt for either of us like we were trying to asella the other on our product/ brand; instead, exchanging professional datum was an organic part of an ongoing interaction at a time that was appropriate. Learn to take advantage of openings where needed, but donat force-out them. Afterward, make sure you follow up with a note or email. If you become friends on social media, make sure to engage further than just the initial add. Use calendar reminders to promote you to remember to follow up, even with social contacts.
The long-term secret to networking is developing a strong social network. Todayas social media platforms make it easier than ever to connect with and keep in touch with contacts situated all over the world. Engaging an experienced marketing company can help you make your website and social media platforms appear professional and welcoming. Once you learn how to use them to enhance your in-person social networking efforts, you can more easily leverage your social connections into professional gainsawithout alienating your friends.
Learn more about networking with this free eBook about networking on LinkedIn!
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