Just as it is true with all relationships in your life, you must invest time to foster meaningful connections. When it comes to networking, it is important to build a vast, diverse network. Doing so will help you broaden the opportunities available to you in the future. However, the number of contacts in your network is not enough.
It is also imperative to actively engage with your network to ensure you build strong, beneficial relationships.
Tips to Actively Engage Your Network:
Professional social media sites can help you advance your career. Sites, such as LinkedIn, provide the opportunity to connect with your contacts, share your expertise, and generate points of interest in which to engage with your network. Actively use the tools at your disposal. Share articles, make comments, or personally reach out to individuals in your network when you believe something really pertains to them or will spark their interest. The more active you are the more reciprocal interactions you will likely get from your contacts and, as a result, you will build more meaningful relationships with individuals within your network.
Additionally, when your contacts post articles or make comments relating to you or that you can share your knowledge about, be sure to interact with them. Take the time to comment on the article and respond to others’ comments. By engaging on others’ posts, your interest and knowledge will inspire more meaningful interactions.
Showing interest in others on social media opens the door for you to personalize your dialogue and deepen your connections with those in your network. Doing so provides you the opportunity to establish mutually beneficial professional relationships.
To authentically network, you have to take your interactions beyond comments and posts on social media profiles. To do that, when you see an article you believe an individual might find particularly interesting, send them a direct message with the article and a personalized note. Your thoughtfulness clearly demonstrates your commitment to building a mutual relationship.
Furthermore, after you have established a more personalized relationship, consider taking your interactions beyond the computer screen. Plan a small networking event with a few individuals you have connected with. Go to lunch, arrange a Meetup, or do a fun activity to build lasting, long-term connections.