There’s a saying, “Expand your network, increase your net worth.” These days success in business is largely dependant on who you know and the connections you make. If you keep your circle of contacts small, you’re not exposing yourself to new opportunities. Case in point, I’ve secured many jobs solely because I knew somebody who knew the client. Had I not taken the time to network and establish new relationships, I would have never had the opportunity to work with amazing clients and earn thousands of dollars.
So how can you become a networking afficionado and expose yourself to new opportunities? Follow these three simple tips:
1. Facebook is the largest social network on the market. Use that to your advantage!
Facebook started as a way to keep up with friends but now is a hub for personal accounts and businesses alike. Instead of scrolling through your feed checking out your friend’s baby pictures, join Facebook groups for other business professionals, entrepreneurs, and like-minded individuals. Turn Facebook from being a procrastination – aide to a productivity tool. In these business groups it’s a huge forum for other business professionals to share their success stories, as well as tips for you to achieve the same level of success. These groups are also a support group, in that you can feel free to ask for advice and get answers from people who have proven results. The environment is such that everyone pushes and motivates each other to succeed. Engaging and participating in the groups is also a great way to meet and network with other people who share the same mindset. *Take note, as this is another huge factor in increasing your network. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals and you’ll be inspired to grow your network and succeed. If you surround yourself with people who are stagnant in life, you will be stuck in the same place and you’ll never grow.*
Here are some Facebook groups that I’ve found to be most helpful in my business:
2. Go out and meet new people!
Find events in your area that pertain to your field of interest. There’s plenty of free events you can check out, which means plenty of opportunities to network. Networking doesn’t only occur at networking events, but you can easily network at fashion shows, film releases, product launches, etc. A popular website to find events is Eventbrite.com, and if you’re in the NY area check out Pulsd.com. If you’re looking for more high end events, visit GuestofAGuest.com, which lists events in major cities around the country.
3. Equip yourself with the proper networking materials.
You never know who you’re going to meet, and when. You only get one chance you make a first impression so make sure that it’s a good one! Have business cards on hand at all times so that you can easily pass your information on when you meet people. Business cards may seem like the old school way of exchanging information, but they still remain a sign of professionalism, especially in business. Make sure your business cards are eye-catching and you’re more likely to be remembered. Some great affordable websites for business cards are Moo.com and Zazzle.com.
Try these simple tips and before you know it, your network will grow!