Besides your skills and abilities, your network is your best resource. Your network consists of friends, family members, colleagues, and former business partners.
Sometimes, your network extends further than that. Your network can also include people you’ve met at social networking events or people you had a fantastic conversation with on the elevator.
Whatever your network is, you can always strive to increase the size of your network. The more people in your network, the more people you can reach out to.
Why Would You Want To Grow Your Network?
A question you might be asking yourself is “Why would I want to grow my network?” The answer is simple.
By growing your network, you grow your ability to reach new people.
Your network can help you do the following:
- Find new employees
- Find yourself new employment
- Help you solve a difficult problem
- Introduce a star employee to a new business opportunity
- Find places to invest
There’s more reasons for growing your network than I listed but these are some very common reasons.
But, how do you grow your network? I have 4 sure-fire ways to grow your network.
4 Ways To Grow Your Network
1. Join local organizations:
I’ve found one of the easiest ways to network is to join local organizations that I’m interested in or that will help me grow. For example, I joined our local Toastmasters International club in Muskegon. There, I’ve met people who not only helped me increase my public speaking ability but also connected me with local bookstores where I can sell my books.
There are plenty of local organizations looking for great people to partner with them. Maybe you join the local Chamber of Commerce, Planet Fitness or other local gyms, or a church board.
By joining local organizations, you put yourself in a circle of movers and shakers. Join them!
2. Attend events:
COVID-19 knocked out a lot of in-person events. I haven’t been to a leadership conference in two years because of it. However, the good news is that in-person events are coming back with a vengeance.
Events are a perfect breeding ground for networking.
You have like-minded individuals attending with you. All you need to do is approach them and strike up a conversation. Yes, this may be challenging for introverts but for you extroverts this is prime-time.
You can also connect and grow your network through virtual events. Whether it is Zoom, Facebook Live, or another streaming platform, you can connect with other attendees. Take note of their names and reach out!
Use your time at events to create new connections that join your network.
3. Connect those in your network with others:
Want to grow your network? Help grow the network of people you know.
If you know Bob is a printer salesperson and you hear Jane is looking to replace the printers in her office, connect the two. You will make your connections happy. More than that, your connections will think of you the next time they hear of someone who can solve your problem.
Connecting others is a win-win. Don’t ignore the power in connection.
4. Build your social network:
There are so many ways to connect online. You can become Facebook friends with someone across the world. A business partner can become a LinkedIn connection. On Twitter, you build a network of followers.
These people are real. They’re not imaginary or any less important than someone you have connected with in person.
Building your social network will grow your network.
Make the connections you need to through social media. It might be on LinkedIn, Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, or another medium.
These are connections that can be considered part of your network.