Professional networking is a critical business skill to help you build your career or business. Whether you are looking to sell more, land a new job, find investors, collaborators, cofounders, or fellow creators - networking can help.
But networking done right means not just collecting countless digital business cards - but also establishing connections that last. Value-based networking means quality over quantity and meeting and staying in touch with people who become genuine value-adds in your professional life. Here are five important tips on how to create networking relationships that last
Make the First Move - When it comes to long lasting networking connections, as in dating, it is often the case that one party must make the first move. If you want to establish a connection with someone, reach out and introduce yourself. It can as simple as sending a LinkedIn message or connecting on social. The key is to take initiative and make it easy for the other person to respond.
Here are some tips on great first-moves to make at your next networking event:
Follow Up - Once you have made that initial connection, it is important to follow up and keep the conversation going. It's the only way to make long lasting networking connections. This can be done by sending articles or resources you think they would find interesting, scheduling a coffee chat, or connecting them with someone in your network. If you want to nurture a networking relationship, you have to put in the effort and make sure to keep the lines of communication open.
When it comes to professional follow-ups, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Be Genuinely Interested - One of the best ways to create lasting networking relationships is by being genuinely interested in other people and their stories. People can spot a fake a mile away, so it is important to be authentic when networking. When you are truly interested in getting to know someone and hearing about their work, it shows, and people will be more likely to want to stay connected with you.
Offer Value -networking is not a one-way street. If you want people to stick around, you have to offer them value as well. This could be in the form of helpful resources, introductions to other people in your network, or advice and mentorship. When you are generous with your time and knowledge, people will be more likely to want to help you out when you need it.
Stay in Touch - Even if you have not spoken to someone in awhile, it is important to stay in touch and keep your networking relationships alive. A great way to do this is by connecting with people on social media, sending them articles or resources you think they would find interesting, or attending events where you know they will be. If you want to maintain a strong network, you have to put in the effort to stay top of mind. The Popl app is an incredibly effective tool for keeping in touch with new contacts.
Building long-lasting networking relationships takes time, effort, and genuine interest. But when done right, it can be an incredibly valuable tool to help you achieve your professional goals. By following these five tips, you can start making connections that will last.
Do you have any other tips on how to make networking relationships that last? Let us know in the comments below!