6 Tips To Become a Better Leader


Check out these essential networking tips to help you connect with the right people and advance your career.

Who you know is just as important as what you know in business. These two work in tandem to afford you a successful career, regardless of the industry. While the latter sets you on course to launch a career, the former helps you gain access to the resources, funding, or advice needed to pursue your career goals.

So, knowing how to network effectively with specific people in your industry is crucial for career advancement. As such, this article will give you some basic guidelines to help you navigate your networking journey. So, without further ado, here are eight networking tips for career advancement.

1. Define Your Objectives

Defining what you want is an essential first step in any endeavor, especially networking. This knowledge lets you identify who to watch, follow, and contact. Categorically, it helps you streamline your actions to arrive at your career goals.

Furthermore, setting a SMART goal for career development will help you measure your networking progress. As you achieve each milestone and conduct research, you can modify your network watchlist to channel your energy and resources efficiently. Moreover, without the objective, you would probably find yourself building a network of little or no value to you.

2. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Networking may seem intimidating, especially to shy or introverted individuals. They may want to hide or rely on a crutch when attending networking events, but this can only take you so far. As such, daring yourself to send a message, volunteer for events, or even approach industry experts at a seminar is a step in the right direction.

If you’ll be doing it via mail or social media, it’s important to personalize your messages to build a connection. When attending an event or volunteering, consider doing it solo and not with a group. One outgoing friend may be okay, but a group you’re familiar with will only serve as a crutch that won’t help you.

In addition to the best networking strategies for introverts, consider going over your introduction and learning to initiate and steer conversations in your desired direction. While it might not be comfortable at first, remember networking is a skill that requires time to develop and improve. So the trick is to keep at it until it becomes a comfort zone itself.

3. Conduct Yourself Properly

While we all have a reputation to keep, conducting yourself properly for the purpose of networking is equally beneficial. For example, you must be professional, from dressing to fit occasions to being punctual to casual meetings with your potential network.

Furthermore, ensure to be respectful to everyone regardless of their title and refrain from making assumptions from first appearances. While speaking with people, be attentive to what they say and appreciate their perspective on topics.

In all, remember to be kind. This doesn’t mean you should be unnaturally stiff and overly polite. Rather, be authentic to let your personality reflect your passions as you network.

4. Focus on Relationship-Building

While you may be tempted to sell yourself aggressively, you are better off choosing a different path. Showing genuine interest in another person is an excellent way to build friendships.

Attendees at networking events all go there for different reasons. For example, you may be looking for a client, while an entrepreneur may seek to ensure business loans. In this arena of diverse interests, it is rare to see a person show authentic concern for another. Hence, it makes you stand out powerfully.

The relationship may take time to build but be patient. In the process, your network-turned-friend could also pick interest in what you do, making it easy to strike conversations in your favor from time to time.

5. Offer Value

Offering value is a great way to build mutually beneficial relationships with people. This could be something you know that could help the other person. For example, you could introduce them to a person who might have what they need or send helpful resources. How you choose to help is up to you, but you will create a favorable impression by helping people.

Not only will they want to keep you around, but they may also feel obliged to return the favor. Moreover, they will see your skills first-hand if you volunteer to assist them on a project. If they are impressed, they may refer you to others, which may lead to you landing a new job.

6. Ask for Help

As critical as offering value is, it’s only half of the equation. The other half would be asking for help, which might be the most difficult thing to do for some, but it never really hurts. Interestingly, the worst you might get is a “No,” or worse still, your request might be ignored.

However, most people are willing to help when they discover you have value to offer, conduct yourself appropriately, and have a track record of providing assistance yourself. So the trick is to give what you want and be confident enough to seek help. Who knows, your request might end up piquing the interest of your potential network.

7. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Social media has changed the way we network as individuals. We had to meet physically before, but now, there are many ways social media brings people together. Among the myriad of apps people use to connect, some are tailor-made for professionals, such as LinkedIn, Shapr, or Bizzabo.

Although others are primarily used for personal networking, they are also largely resourceful in the professional space. Facebook and Twitter fall in this category and provide an opportunity to connect with industry experts.

Regardless of the social media platform, you have to first create a profile that reflects who you are in the online community. Then you can join industry-related groups, follow reputable influencers and leaders in your field, and also participate in niche-focused conversations. Moreover, interacting with the content of your prospective network is a viable way to place yourself on their radar.

8. Keep in Touch

After establishing a relationship, the next line of action is maintaining it. Find ways to keep in touch with the connections you make. For example, you may exchange business cards, ask further questions, invite them for lunch, or simply engage with their posts.

Whatever choice you make will strengthen the budding friendship. Afterward, you can leverage your friendship to ask for recommendations on LinkedIn or a mention on any other platform. This could draw expert attention your way, strategically placing you for a boom in your career.

Bolster Your Career With Your Network

Networking can feel like a daunting task but is beneficial for every professional looking towards career progression. If you’re on this train, make a resolution to step out of your comfort zone and apply the tips above to harness all networking has to offer.

Thankfully, freelancers are also welcome to the party and can discover great career opportunities with high-value freelance clients through networking. So while you learn daily to improve your expertise, equally channel some energy into growing your network.


About Author