Networking is more important now than ever, and although the ways in which you can network are constantly expanding and evolving, one thing remains true: networking is essential to running a business, connecting with your peers, and expanding your professional relationships.
Do: Think beyond the lead
There’s more to networking than just landing a new customer. You can never assume which relationships will yield dividends. If you equate networking solely with boosting your bottom line, you’ll miss out on all the other ways networking can bring you professional fulfillment.
Don’t: Hard sell
When networking, make sure you’re keeping it real and representing yourself accurately. There’s nothing wrong with tooting your own horn, but nobody likes someone who’s constantly hyping (and only talking about) themselves.
Do: Connect with your peers
Through online and in-person events run by professional and business associations, you can connect with many other business owners and professionals. Though you may not meet in the flesh, you can still forge bonds over Zoom calls and DMs.
Don’t: Overthink things
Be confident about your skill set and open to learning from folks who have more experience than you. Imposter syndrome is real. But when you learn what your peers have accomplished, you better understand what you’re capable of—and it’s probably more than you give yourself credit for.
Offer your skills to an organization you support to build a new network of contacts. You’d be surprised at the personal fulfillment you can get when working with an organization that aligns with your values
Don’t: Forget to follow up
If you’re going to volunteer, make sure you have the bandwidth to stay committed. Or at least, be very clear up front about what you can and will commit to. Don’t become a no-show when things are getting busy. It doesn’t just hurt the organization that’s depending on you, it hurts your credibility, too.
Be sure to stay tuned for next blog post where we will share even more do’s and don’ts for building your network!
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