By Tom Ottaiano, CEO, Today’s Business
Something I always say is that your network is your net worth. The people that you surround yourself with and connect to are the ones that will ultimately help you in your journey towards success. I can attribute a lot of my past and present success on the network that I have built for myself. Here are my top five tips to help you get out there and start forging connections.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out
I was able to network at a young age because I put aside the fear of reaching out. This could apply to an existing connection that you know could help you out with a current project or it could be a new connection that you have an in with. Success is a collaborative effort, and it won’t happen for you if you isolate yourself.
2. Utilize the Right Tools
The best part about networking in this day and age is that it’s right at your fingertips. LinkedIn and Instagram are great tools that can help you search and message the right person. These are platforms designed for bridging the gap between people. Why not capitalize on it and start using social media for what it was born to do?
3. Make the Relationship Mutually Beneficial
The best way to make a new connection is to provide something that will help the person you are trying to connect with. Relationships should not just be one-sided, they should always be mutually beneficial. It’s important to keep in mind what you bring to the table, not just what a new contact could provide for you.
4. Follow Up
It’s important to follow up after the first meeting to make a lasting impression. Once you find someone that is a good fit for whatever you are trying to accomplish in your network, make sure you set up a second meeting or a follow-up call. Persistence is everything in the networking game.
5. Be Authentic
Over everything else, be true to yourself. Don’t try to invent a new persona because people can see right through it. Authenticity is extremely important in all aspects of life, but when it comes to networking, it’s critical. Know yourself, know your goals, know your message and the rest will come easy!