In this day and age, it is becoming all the more important to network. Whether you are a soon-to-be college graduate looking for your first professional job, an established professional seeking connections in a new city, or a business looking to build your clientele, taking advantage of all networking opportunities is imperative.
Here are four tips that will help take your networking to the next level:
Take advantage of social media. No, social media is not just a place to post selfies (#sochiselfie). Social media is all about building connections. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn offer a great chance to connect and interact with professionals and businesses. Send them an article that is relevant to their work, comment on a project they have done and be courteous and friendly.
Attend local industry and professional group meetings. There are many different ways in which you can get involved with local and national groups that will allow you to network with professionals in your field and in other professional industries. Indy has great places for meet-ups that should be on your radar. Here are just a few of the many great opportunities the city offers: Indy Hub, the Speakeasy, PRSA, Young Professionals of Central Indiana. The list really does go on and on. Attend these events, meet professionals and then follow up with them to set up a more personalized meeting.
Craft your emails in a way that motivates people to respond. You always hear that people get hundreds of emails a day and have ‘bigger’ things to worry about in their daily tasks. So how can you break through the clutter and receive a response to your networking email? Keep it short and sweet, folks. Try to limit the email to no more than 3-5 sentences. Clearly state what you are looking for from the meeting and always extend the offer to come to them.
Send thank you notes. After you have met, send a thank you note. People are busy and took time out of their day to help you out. A thank you email will certainly do, but a hand written letter would add that personal touch. Plus, how many people receive letters mailed to them nowadays? It will make you stand out and might make their day.
Try applying these quick and easy tips and see if your networking improves! What are some of your go-to tips for connecting with others?