Make a Network of Professionals
Networking is often seen as an intimidating prospect – including having to attend meet-ups and other events, making connections with unknown people, and having to navigate tricky conversations. But while it definitely can feel daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Building your professional network doesn’t necessarily have to involve attending an event; there are ways you can cultivate relationships with professionals in your field.
Utilize Your Social Profiles
Start by creating social media profiles, like on LinkedIn and Twitter, which will be noticeable to other professionals. LinkedIn is the place to be when it comes to professional networking. Make sure you have an up-to-date profile that showcases your current education and the work experience you have. Also be sure you join groups related to your industry and make connections with like-minded individuals. Furthermore, post interesting content about the latest news in your field to stay up to date and demonstrate your knowledge of the topic.
Attend Professional Events
Attending professional events is one of the best ways to make connections with people in your field. Local meet-ups and industry-specific conferences can give you the opportunity to meet professionals from all around the world, and to make meaningful connections. Not to mention, they provide the opportunity to get to know the industry better and to ask questions to the experts.
Reach Out to Professional Contacts
Once you have made some contacts at professional events, or if you already have some contacts, reach out to them and let them know what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions or to get their perspective on a particular issue. People are usually more than happy to talk about their profession and offer advice or help if they can.
Connect On Platforms that Focus On Your Field
There are many different platforms – like forums and Reddit – that focus on specific fields and industries. Joining these platforms and contributing to the conversations can help you make connections with people who are interested in the same topics as you. Ask questions, answer questions and provide useful advice to the community to show how knowledgeable you are and that you’re a great resource to the people around you.
Work On Your Virtual Presence
Developing your virtual presence is key to connecting with professionals. Make sure you have an up-to-date website that showcases your skills and experience, as well as an online portfolio. You can create a blog in which you discuss topics related to your field, as well as a YouTube channel to demonstrate your knowledge. Doing so will still make you visible to hiring professionals, even if you can’t get to events.
Engage in Local Events or Organizations
Engaging in local events or organizations related to your field can help you meet people in your area who have similar interests. The good thing about being in the same city or state is that you have the opportunity to build deeper relationships with professionals. This can help you build a more solid network that can help you later on.
Keep the Relationships Going
Once you’ve made connections, don’t let them fizzle out. Make an effort to keep in touch with them. Send them a message every once in a while to check in, send them a link that might be of interest or talk about any new developments in your field. Doing this will make sure you stay in contact and will make sure that when you need a favor, they are more likely to remember you.
People always feel better when they are around positive people. Being positive and engaging will make people want to be around you. So, be friendly, kind, optimistic and don’t forget to smile.
Once you’ve made a connection, don’t forget to follow up. Send a thank you note or email. This will show your appreciation and will make them more likely to remember you.
Building a professional network takes time and dedication, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult process. By using these strategies, you can make meaningful connections with professionals in no time.