In this new industry, I knew no one. And more importantly, no one knew me . . .yet. But in 4 short years I have grown a business during a recession, landed an Apex Award for training design, and created a strategic training relationship with a best-selling author. How did I do it? In short, I developed a thriving network of trusted relationships.
In this article I share a few (and almost painless) ways I’ve successfully grew my network and built long-lasting strategic relationships.
- Use social media with the goal of taking key relationships offline. LinkedIn and Twitter are my main social media outlets. But with so many connections and followers, it’s impossible to create meaningful relationships with everyone, and nor would you want to. Select anywhere from 1-2 people a month and make an effort to continue the conversation offline. It’s usually a quick phone call if there’s distance, or if they are local meet for lunch or at an event.
- Be sure to balance your networking strategy between in-person and online communication. You can start building a relationship online and move the relationship offline. Or, you can reverse the strategy. The ability to form a professional relationship beyond your online presence is invaluable. Nothing is more important than an engaging conversation and a firm handshake. Once you have established that relationship, balance your communication with online and offline strategies.
- Moderate a social media group. If you’ve ever spent time in a group where the moderator is active – asking questions, posting articles, creating conversation – that person probably has a higher level of credibility in your eyes. Create that for yourself by moderating (or guest moderating) a social media group. A tip here – be sure it’s something to which you can commit your time.
- Actively volunteer in a key industry organization. Be selective in the groups you join and then get involved! Being an active member helps you build better relationships and a higher profile. A tip here to find the membership or programs director for the group and introduce yourself – that person will help you find those opportunities.
- Develop a keep-in-touch strategy. Keeping in touch is vital. First, it keeps momentum up and allows you to build better relationships. Second, most people just aren’t doing it, so you will stand out. The best keep in touch strategy utilizes technology with a personal touch. A tip here is to create something of value on a regular basis and communicate with your audience. This Impact ezine is a perfect example of a keep-in-touch strategy. Or it could be something as simple as posting a timely discussion question within your social media group.
If any of these tips resonate with you, I encourage you to start growing your network today. Stick with it consistently and you’ll see the change in the quality and results of your relationships!
Ready to learn more?
Visit https://amyfranko.com for more information about custom training solutions and professional development services offered by Impact Instruction Group. Amy Franko works with emerging women leaders, teaching concepts from the international best-seller Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office to many national companies and organizations.
© 2011 Impact Instruction Group
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