How to Grow Your Network Organically
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Business networking is a task that takes quite a bit of time and effort to build, maintain, and grow. A business’s network of mentors and colleagues has become one of the most important facets of building and maintaining a business.
Why is growing a business network so important?
There are numerous benefits to building a strong business network. If you were to ask any small business where they get most of their new clients, they will tell you by word of mouth. That type of in-person meet-and-greet marketing is what networking is all about. In fact, a study reported that as many as 78 percent of startups say networking is paramount to all of their business endeavors.
The benefits of growing your business network are limitless. You will meet people in your industry at both the local and national levels. You will learn about innovations from people in your industry. There will be the opportunity for valuable business partnerships, the ability to generate new connections, and maybe even land a new job. So the best bet all around for your business growth is to start a network and keep it growing.
Below are a few network management tips to help you grow your business network.
How to Grow Your Business Network Organically
Deepen Your Already Existing Network Relationships
When it comes to networking, quality is sometimes more important than quantity. In other words, don’t put your focus on just accumulating as many people in your network as soon as possible. First, get to know the people already in your network a bit better. Read and comment on their posts, and try to keep a dialog going about a topic of mutual interest. Don’t make the mistake of reaching out to a colleague only when you need something. Instead, you can just message them to chat about the business. This relationship-building method will create a sense of camaraderie within your network and make the relationship stronger.
Learn Something New
To avoid stagnation in your business growth, learn a new skill to broaden and expand your professional network. Of course, it is beneficial to keep the focus on your area of expertise, but don’t limit yourself. If you decide to dabble in another professional discipline, you are opening the floodgates to a whole new group of contacts to expand your professional network. Beyond just learning and connecting online, you can also attend a conference or trade show in this new skill or discipline. The opportunity for new network connections at these events is well worth the price of the ticket, and then some.
Start a Monthly Networking Event
Plan an informal networking event every month. Reach out to all your relevant contacts with an invitation to your event. If there are many people in your network that are in your city or local area, you can plan a monthly breakfast or luncheon. This can be a great opportunity to speak to your colleagues, and swap industry information and tips. If your network is more spread out over a distance, why not host a virtual event? You can schedule a Zoom conference with all your network.
Volunteer with a Professional Organization or Serve on a Board
One of the best ways to grow your network organically is to volunteer your time to a cause or serve on a board based on your career field. The benefits of networking this way are double: you grow your network and you earn a boost with professional references. Participating with these organizations also usually provides passes to great events, which, of course, will then become additional networking opportunities. These naturally expand without much effort if your initial goal is connection.
Increase LinkedIn Activity
LinkedIn is the premier site for business networking. One of the best ways to grow your network is to increase your activity and your visibility on LinkedIn. Share your own posts on LinkedIn frequently, while liking and sharing those relevant posts of your colleagues. This will put your business front and center in the feed where your connection’s network members can see your activity. This could lead to new connections, a possible business collaboration, or even an opportunity to create strategic partnerships. Do not go through all the trouble of creating a LinkedIn profile and gathering contacts, and then just disappear from the site.
Need help with the steps to grow your business network? PS Inc can help you. Contact us today to get started on growing your network organically.