Having a good professional network is a key asset for success in business. Developing its network is therefore essential whatever your activity. Here are some tips for building a solid and useful network !
First, developing its network allows you to gain new contacts and even find new customers. Indeed, word of mouth is very useful in certain sectors and can allow you to find new customers. The larger your network, the more you maximize your chances of creating business opportunities.
In addition, beyond enriching your network, you will be able to benefit from expert advice on certain subjects. It would be a shame to do without it ! You thus process your communication and this allows you to communicate on your expertise.
Finally, developing its network can be an opportunity to enter into partnerships with other companies. Again, this will greatly contribute to the development of your activity. In fact, develop your professional network to create opportunities!
Set up your networking strategy
First of all, you must define your professional objectives which push you to want to develop your professional network. Depending on this, your behavior will be different.
Your goals can be :
- Obtain information on a sector of activity
- Contact an expert for advice
- Contact a particular company
- Learn about potential partners
- Meet potential new recruits etc.
In any case, the goal is to create opportunities to meet your current network and with new people.
For this, we advise you to start by capitalizing on your already existing network. Know that your network is made up of several sub-networks and that everyone is important :
- Your personal network consists of your family circle and your friends
- Your professional network contains your study knowledge, professional experience and former colleagues
- refers to people encountered during your leisure time or via associations
- Social networks, mainly LinkedIn, Facebook and Video
Then ask yourself what you can bring to them on your side because it’s give and take. So what do you want to bring ? Your expertise, specific advice, solutions or do you want to connect several people from your network ?
Clubs and associations remain the number one way 1 to maintain and develop your network. For example, you can join entrepreneurial clubs, creators or networks of leaders. This will allow you to exchange with other leaders on often common issues.
Depending on your activity, you will target different clubs. For example, for entrepreneurs, there is the business club, the entrepreneurship network, or the business club. In addition, there are now specific professional networks. Some are for example dedicated to women, others to specific trades and fields of activity.
Finally, do not neglect alumni associations. Have you had a preparatory class ? Did you study in a large school ? Take advantage of the alumni network to build links and keep in touch.
The advantage of joining clubs and associations is that they put individuals in direct contact with each other, without the bias of virtuality.
What could be better for developing your network than meeting other professionals via lounges. For example, you can participate in trade fairs. We have also written a full article to help you prepare a trade fair.
In addition, find out about business events such as symposium, conferences, forums, training etc. The more you multiply the meeting places, the better !
Finally, you can organize your own business event. This requires a little more investment on your part because it is preparing upstream, but the benefits can be excellent. To find out more, don’t hesitate to consult our article on the subject !
They have become essential to meet new people and expand your professional network. The best known are generalist networks such as Facebook, Google + or Twitter. They also allow you to communicate with your network via publications or via private messages.
Generalist networks are useful but we advise you to favor professional networks like LinkedIn or Video. On LinkedIn, for example, you can search for professionals according to their field of activity or their position. It’s ideal for developing your network effectively !
Before sending invitations to join your network, we advise you to take care of your personal profile. To do this, present your professional background, your personality, your activity and your ambitions. So you maximize the chances of accepting your invitation.
Take full advantage of these social networks by sharing your expertise through publications, useful articles, etc. Don’t just be a spectator, become an actor !
Keep in mind that all of these efforts must be time-bound to be effective. Physical or virtual, think about maintaining your network and not using it only when you need it: it’s give and take ! And yes, a network is maintained !
Research, social networks, email … your future customers are online ! Using the intention method, identify the relevant actions to touch them.