Let’s face it, our days disappear when we are busy with the urgent minutia of running a business, managing people or projects, family engagements and fitting in hobbies. Try to set aside 15-30 minutes each morning to build your professional network and find, establish and build relationships that will help you sustain and grow your business and meet your goals. If you are like us, you may also find a few close friends along the way!
Ensure your profile on LinkedIn is complete and up-to-date. We all know about first impressions, and online first impressions are even more key. If you don’t think you’re there yet, here is a great resource with some tips – 17 Must Haves for your LinkedIn Profile. Staying “top of mind” with your professional network is one important approach. Then your counterparts gets to see what’s happening with you on an ongoing basis. Good ways of accomplishing this include writing articles, commenting on posts or uploading value-add videos. Listen to what’s happening with your target audience, who’s recently become a connection, changed jobs or was promoted, what are people reading & sharing? By connecting with all your customers and prospects on social media, you can better understand their needs and goals. These insights, which can be gleaned at your convenience and without a lot of time spent, are worth their weight in gold.
How do you feel when a new network contact asks you for a referral or introduction? Don’t be that person! Spend 5 minutes a day to offer unsolicited introductions to people in your network who do not know each other. You will help to elevate those in your network and will initiate good-will that can be cashed in as you need it! The Go-Giver is a great, brief read with the wisdom of this theme.
25-50% of your networking should be done in person. Join LinkedIn groups, Meetups or Real Estate groups in your area. Becoming a regular member allows you to stay informed of market trends and meet other participants and players in your community.
Connections lose steam if you don’t follow up in the days after your first meeting. Staying in touch with your connections will show your commitment and keep you on their mind for when the next deal or introduction opportunity arises.