Your network is your net worth.
Network, network, develop your network. To succeed, it is essential to be visible and cultivate relationships. Of course, networking is one of the strongest tools for moving forward in your personal and professional life. Yet many are now adopting the wrong method and seeking to have the widest possible network to get something back. And if the networking was all the opposite? Giving without hope could help you more than you think!
Communicate well, consolidate your network, go to the right places and master LinkedIn as a pro: 7 key points to develop your network.
1 / Be generous and expect nothing
Although networking is a win-win relationship, the two parties may not necessarily find their account at the same time! You may be helping a former colleague once, who will return it to you years later. The secret: be generous, help without expecting anything in return! Generosity is an attractive value, which we remember. The most talented net-workers are often those who give more than they receive.
2 / Listen and flatter
For many, not being a good communicator is an irreversible obstacle to networking. It’s wrong ! Beyond communication, the secret of the network lies in listening. As the famous psychologists explains, manifesting an interest in the other fills the penultimate need of the pyramid: the need for esteem. Your interlocutors like to be flattered, listened to, understood and they will forge stronger relationships with you if you give them this pleasure.
3 / Make the network live
A good network is a network that lives! Relationships must be long-term and must be nourished by connections, mutual help and regular contact. For that a tool: your calendar. The birthday of your former boss, the big event a friend is working on, the return of a colleague’s vacation or just the end of the year holidays: note, be sincere and take news of what you want heart.
4 / Think “social” and not “post”
Never make the mistake of neglecting someone in relation to your position or title. Around a contact gravitate many others and a high position in the hierarchy is not at all the only criterion to take into account! Think wide. Moreover, your network does not stop at the professional circle. Friends, members of the same association, neighbors: all contact is good to take and may be a day much more interesting than you expected.
5 / Talking intelligently
Listening, keeping in touch, helping others: that’s good. They must also be aware of what you are doing, to potentially help you later! Be specific about your project, your desires, your work, your expectations and talk about yourself in an intelligent and clear way. Your network needs to understand your business and industry.
6 / Frequent the good places
Even if you do not network to network, you can also force a little fate and frequent the places through which you are most likely to meet interesting people! Be careful not to go there for the specific purpose of leaving with something. This is the best way to miss everything! Go with enthusiasm, interest and open mind. Co-working spaces, specialized exhibitions, meet-ups , after works, but also cultural outings or sporting events: with a passion or a common interest, many links are created!
7 / Being a LinkedIn Expert
Networking pros are inevitably also LinkedIn pros . With 100 million users in the world and 6 million in France, LinkedIn is a gold mine with many tips and potentialities. Some useful tips:
- Have at least 150 relationships to optimize the network
- Join groups (100 maximum allowed): your network will be increased tenfold between your relationships and the relationships of members of joined groups
- Organize your contacts by grouping them into groups (in: Network / Contact / Labels)
- Export your contacts to keep them if necessary in Excel document (in: Network / Contact / Export your relations)