Brianna Elefant writes for Money Inc and argues that “The importance of building a strong professional network, and constantly expanding your professional circle, cannot be understated.”
Throughout my career in executive leadership and sales roles at tech companies, my network has been a powerful tool for creating value and closing deals. I recently became the Chief Revenue Officer of Voray, a company dedicated to cultivating authentic professional relationships, in part because I believe so strongly in the need for a solid network of professional relationships.
But creating and cultivating your network often can seem overwhelming, and is a professional task that frequently falls by the wayside. I don’t think it should be that way — and over time, have found the below tips to be helpful:
Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
More isn’t always better — sometimes it’s just more. Authenticity is the key to successful networking relationships. Focus more on connecting with people that you are genuinely interested in learning from, working with or helping. Said differently, forget about collecting business cards just to have business cards. I’ve found that contacts without connection don’t go all that far.
Stretch Outside of Your Comfort Zone
There are countless professional organizations that you can become involved with that will help grow your professional circle. But don’t limit it to simply the industry or people that you may already know. Look into other organizations where you may be able to get to know people in different industries — they may be able to help you down the road. If you’re a small business or solopreneur, look into coworking spaces like Grind or WeWork to create a network of people you can tap. If you already have those systems in place, platforms like LinkedIn can be a great resource. As networking expert Kelly Hoey says, if you only have two minutes: “Post a LinkedIn update or refresh your profile. Share an article you found insightful or make sure it’s up to date. Your online presence matters and maintaining it could pay off, Hoey writes. An added benefit? That article you post on LinkedIn could be a great conversation starter down the line. “Consistency is key,” Hoey tells CNBC.”
For more tips on how best to develop a meaningful professional network, see the full article as published on Money Inc here.