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10 Professional Networking Tips for the Unmingled

October 8, 2012  
Filed under The Workplace

By Abigail Crawford —

We all heard the saying that it’s not what you know, but who you know. Well, in the end you need both, but to advance further at a quicker pace, your valuable connections end up being the game changers. To increase your chances of meeting the right people for your professional journey, read on for some valuable networking tips from experts which will help you grow your contact list and professional reputation.

people networking

1.) Have a strong Internet presence

Before getting too involved in networking, make sure you have a strong Internet presence. When a potential client or customer checks out your personal or business branding, they will first look at what you are presenting publicly. Check to see if your website looks professional. Also important is a strong presence in social networking, according to Bob Parsons, who is the founder of GoDaddy, which will build a credible, strong interaction with current and potential clients and customers.

2.) Avoid free email

Another way to build credibility is to have your email address through your business’s domain name, if you have your own freelance company or a regular business. That way, when you are connecting with others, people will see your venture as a legitimate, successful business.

3.) Don’t stop talking

Now that you have your Internet presence and email address in order, it is time to start talking to people about your business. According to Forbes, you should talk to everyone everywhere you go. This includes people in line at the grocery store or people next to you on the plane. You never know when you will meet someone that has the connections you need to take your business to the next level.

4.) Don’t talk about problems

It is vital that you stay positive when talking to others. Everyone has problems, so constantly complaining about yours can be off-putting. If asked, you are always doing great. It also helps to smile as much as possible. People will feed off of your positive energy.

5.) Help as much as you can

The key to successful networking is to say yes to favors as much as possible. The more you are able to help others, the more they will be willing to help when you need it. The more people’s good side you can get on, the better.

6.) It’s about quality, not quantity

When you are at a party, it is more important that you get quality time with a few people than it is to talk to everyone in the room. Really focus on the people you are talking with and build a genuine connection. Entrepreneurial guru Evan Carmichael points out that it is also beneficial to ask, “How can I help you?” as you are saying your goodbyes.

7.) Keep your promises

It does no good to offer to help people unless you actually follow through. According to HowToDoThings.com, being a man of your word can get you a long way in the business world.

8.) Get out of your comfort zone

If you stay in your comfort zone and never push yourself, your business will never evolve and you will stray from the road to success. Getting out of your comfort zone will create opportunities to make important connections. You will be surprised by your potential and the amazing things you can accomplish by simply pushing yourself a little bit.

9.) Associate with people you consider superior

American business magnate Warren Buffet  lives by this motto. By associating with people who are better than you, you will naturally make yourself a better person. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have connections in high places.

10.) Keep good records

All of your networking efforts will serve no purpose if you do not have the contact information available when you need it. It is imperative that you keep track of every person you network with, including contact information and some small tidbits about their personal lives. That way, when you contact them in the future, you will have a strong basis to build your conversation on.

*About the author: Abby is a marketing and communications specialist who specializes in event promotion, reputation management and branding

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