I'm not talking about the seemingly fake, forced social meetings where you sip cocktails and trade elevator speeches. Though networking events can be extremely useful, today I want to talk about how strategic networking offered me some incredible opportunities. The weight of "Who You Know" seems to be on par with "What You Know" these days, so expanding your professional and personal network can provide heaps of value when trying to climb the social ladder or discover new career paths.
As a new entrepreneur, I've had to rely on my professional and personal network now more than ever. This goes for any part of my business. From sourcing a supplier to getting into stores, in addition to my own work, the assistance from others in the industry has been invaluable. So today I want to share some tips on exactly how I grew my network and what I'm doing to cultivate a prosperous future for it that spans beyond cocktail hour.
If You Aren't on LinkedIn You Need to Be
Even running my own company, I was sure to update my LinkedIn with details about my new venture. I have some blog posts all about updating your LinkedIn and networking! Here are some of my favorites to re-read:
I have a super exciting collaboration that I'll be sharing soon... how did I do it? I found the General Manager on LinkedIn, proposed my blog post, and booked my flight to LA. Keep an eye out for this one!
Put Yourself Out There
While I was working in my corporate job, I took the initiative to host a branch-wide Zoom happy hour. It was equal parts awkward and fun, but it led me to creating relationships with people I otherwise would not have run into.
Follow Up & Send a Thank You Note
I send thank you gifts and notes like a pro. Everyone likes feeling valued. If you can spare five minutes in sending a thank you text to someone after they connect you with a contact that can provide you with value, I urge you to do it! Thank you notes go a long way and makes the receiver more likely to help you out in the future. We all get by with a little help from our friends.
I hope these tips were helpful to you! If you want more information on career advice, head to my Bonds Over Brunch page! Also, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month so wear pink to raise awareness :)