When it comes to networking, you always want to make sure you do it right so you can grow your business. However, knowing what to do is one thing; knowing what not to do is something else entirely.
You might think you’re doing everything right, but if you’re not making the connections you expected, then perhaps you have fallen into some of the networking traps out there and didn’t even realize it.
Here are some common networking mistakes and how you can avoid making them in the future.
Not Getting Help: A lot of us struggle asking others for help. Networking is all about making connections, though. People don’t know what you need unless you ask them.
Use your personal or professional network and ask them to help you. You need to be connected to the right people. The more people you have getting the word out about you, the better, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Not Maintaining Your Relationships: It’s very easy to lose touch with people, even though it has never been so easy to stay connected. Maintaining contact with your current network and all of the people in it will help you grow.
Follow up with people – mentors, colleagues, and other contacts – on a regular basis to see how they’re doing. I am sure they would love for you to keep them up to date on you as well. Just remember, don’t make it all about you; you will want them to know what you’re up to while also finding out what they’ve been up to.
Not Taking Advantage of Social Media: We live in a day and time where networking is really all we do all day, every day. Social media has made it easy to connect around the world, and if you’re not using it, you’re missing out on a great opportunity.
Start using great networking sites, such as LinkedIn, to make professional connections. This isn’t the only social media platform you should be using, but it’s a great place to start and a way to get your name out there.
Not Making In-Person Connections: Yes, we are in a day and time where social media is super-important to networking, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop meeting people in person. You should never do that. I know that Covid-19 changed the world, but you can’t continue to do everything over the internet.
If your online connection is not local to you, then use a multitude of different technologies like Zoom, which are at your fingertips, to make the world a much smaller place and meet up with people on the other side of it.
Not Being Grateful: Gratitude is often forgotten when it comes to networking. When someone helps you, being grateful will go a long way.
After having a conversation with someone in person or online, send them a quick thank you note for their time. It’s a small thing, but letting people know they are appreciated will go a long way and encourage them to want to speak with you again.
Not Making Sure It’s a Two-Way Street: When someone helps you out and makes a positive connection for you, then you have to be sure that you give back in some way. You especially can’t keep going back and asking for help without giving back in return. Relationships don’t work that way.
If you can avoid making these common mistakes, then you should be able to create a large and successful network for your business.
Join us inside the Village, start networking, and build those relationships today!