To slightly alter a famous speech; ask not what networking can do for you, ask what you can do for networking. Traditionally, networking has been seen as a method of increasing your circle of contacts by liaising with people in a similar field with the hope of forging business partnerships and working relationships in the future. Indeed, it is recommended as part of every marketing strategy out there.
In some ways, traditional networking methods are being usurped in favour of modern approaches. Consider social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn. These online communities act as multi-national meeting posts for businesses and individuals seeking to advance themselves. The downside to this modern approach is that it has become harder than ever to stand out and avoid simply being another face in the crowd.
There remains, however, one person that everybody wants to get involved with – the industry expert. If you can set yourself up as an expert you will find that people will seek you out for advice rather than the other way around. As you help others and gain a reputation for doing so, doors will open for you and opportunities will increase.
Make Yourself an Expert
It can difficult and time consuming becoming an expert and then promoting yourself as such, but if it was easy, everybody would do it. Be assured that every extra minute spent on research and development will reap its own reward further down the line.
As an industry expert, people will flock to you because of your specialist knowledge, they will introduce others to you and, more importantly, they will introduce you to others. Furthermore, when the time comes that you need help, or a leg-up, you will find no shortage of offers from people willing to return the favours that you have done for them.
This approach to networking requires patience, but when done correctly will take you to a whole other level.
Posted by Daniel Vince