Networking can be a very beneficial method for finding new clients and opportunities, as well as for maximizing the value in your current contacts. Here are five basic guidelines for successful networking.
1 – Remember to Bring Value to Others
Networking is a two-way street, so remember that it’s not all about you. Successful networkers look for opportunities to help others. Others will want to be a part of your network if they know that you will find ways to help them. And more importantly, your existing relationships will be strengthened if you can consistently bring value to those in your network.
2 – Create Win-Win Situations
Networking is all about mutual benefit. You want to be sure to provide some help and assistance to those in your network, but you need to get something out of it to. The most beneficial networking relationships will exist when each party has something significant to gain.
Unfortunately, these situations are not always easy to recognize. To start with, get to know the individuals in your network as well as you can. Learn their strengths and weaknesses and always keep an open eye for situations where your abilities may mesh well with the abilities of others.
Win-win situations will result in longer, stronger relationships and more opportunities in the future.
3 – Be in the Right Places
Part of building a strong network is knowing where to be, and where to find others. You can spend all the time you want trying to build a network, but if you’re not putting yourself in the right situations to meet key people, you’re not going to get the best results.
Networking takes effort. You maximize the results of your efforts when you’re at the right place at the right time. Find out where other successful people in your field go (this can be a physical location, or it can be an online location that permits networking). Once you’ve found something that works for you, stick with it.
4 – Know What You’re Looking for.
Not everyone is the ideal person to have in your network. Take the time to figure out the characteristics or skills of the ideal person who you would like to be networked with.
Don’t think only of the things that would benefit you, but think also of what you have to offer to others. What type of people are likely to benefit from being a part of your network?
Once you have an idea of who you would like as a part of your network, it may be easier to narrow down the best places for you to network.
5 – Be Proactive
Don’t wait for others to come to you. Find ways to get to know others and be aggressive with finding win-win situations. Successful networkers will be proactive. Reach out to others that you have identified as possible members of your network and get to know them. If you sit back and wait for others, you’re not likely to get much out of networking.
Try putting these five guidelines into practice right away to get more out of your network efforts and opportunities.
About The Author: Steven Snell is a website designer and blogger for Vandelay Website Design. His blog contains frequent posts on the subjects of web design, marketing, SEO, and blogging. He also runs Traffikd, a blog about internet marketing and social media.