If you have already introduced yourself online or in person, it will be a lot easier to contact them in the future. So, be creative; don't have too many rules about who would be helpful to know. In fact, you can start from the point of view of who you might be able to help instead.
"Look out for people who are asking for recommendations or advice!"
If you see posts on social media that interest you why not follow, comment, and connect online? In fact, while it might not always be obvious, if you find content online that interests and engages you, there's a good chance you might meet other like-minded people in the same place.
Be open to meeting new people from different backgrounds or business sectors who might give you a new perspective. This is a good way to widen your network of connections. Equally, share your thoughts and ideas and see who responds.
While we have all been starved of face to face meetings during the pandemic, nurturing your existing network is the ideal way to meet new people. As business meetings, conferences, trade shows, and networking events open again, you can take the opportunity to introduce yourself in person to people you have only met online or via a video call so far. What better reason to book an appointment?
Don't start with the specific intention of asking for help or an introduction, but prepare a mental list of what you might discuss, based on what you already know about someone. As always, ask yourself how you might be able to help them.
You should definitely share your knowledge too, Take opportunities to speak in public or to take part in a webinar, to write a guest blog post, or publish an article in a professional magazine. This will help to build your reputation and make new people aware of what you do.
You might be surprised by how many people are interested in what you have to say. Take people who respond seriously and make sure you reply, even to negative comments. It doesn't have to be in-depth, but it should be personal and relevant.
"But at the same time, be willing to fail!"
Not everyone that you might want to include in your network will want to connect with you. Despite your best efforts, people you have met might ignore your invitations to connect, calls and emails, and decline invitations to meetings. However, trying and failing is better than not trying at all.
If your initial approaches aren't successful, simply add them to a list of people you will contact again in three or six months' time. Think of a reason to contact them again with a piece of information that might be relevant or an opportunity to attend an event, for example. Sometimes timing will make all the difference and you might receive a very different response when you try again.
Until next time ...
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more networking opportunities, click here to get in touch or give me a call on 07733 033659 and let's see how I can help you.
I am committed to communications - personally and professionally. I want to hear what you have to say and to help you to be heard. That's why people tell me their life's story on the bus or train. I love it!
At work, I'm respected as a senior leader, strategist and innovator. I am effective, calm under pressure and confident. I revel in everything from strategic analysis of communications objectives and options to copywriting and the detailed planning and delivery of successful projects and integrated campaigns. I'm very fussy too - about creativity, quality, value and consistency - they all make a difference to results.
At play, I'm learning to paint (slowly) and enjoy cooking, photography, travelling and writing (of course). Most of all, I enjoy learning about all the very special people I meet along the way.
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