Squeeze It In: 10 Creative Networking Tips for Busy People
Did you know that 85% of jobs are filled through networking? 95% of employees agree that in-person communication is crucial to running a successful business.
While in-person meetings have the potential to earn a company about $12.50 for every dollar invested in the meeting, 39% of employees say they socialize more online than they do in person.
Whether face to face or through online communication, networking is a crucial part of working in a business. Check out these networking tips if you’d like to add more networking opportunities to your busy schedule.
1. Take Advantage of Online Social Media Groups
Social media has become a big part of everyone’s lives and this extends to your professional lives as well. Social media websites made exclusively for professionals are a great way to connect to other professionals in your industry you wouldn’t meet otherwise.
A website like Introducing Me is a great place to talk with peers that you’ve met in person with whom you want to further connect. The amount of networking you can do from your phone is great if you already have a busy schedule.
Staying active on your professional social media accounts is also important. Sharing articles and updates to continue to update your connections helps you stay present in their minds when opportunities arise.
2. Write Recommendations for Others
Networking isn’t just about what others can do for you but also what you can do for your professional peers. One of the most important business networking tips is to offer up your expertise or guidance to others when you can.
One way you can do this is by agreeing to write a recommendation for an employee if you’re able. Being a resource for others will build important connections that you’ll be able to rely on for years to come.
Connecting people who can help each other is another option. Doing favors for other people can improve your problem-solving skills and lead others to return the favor when needed.
3. Make Time to Attend a Conference
While business networking functions like conferences might seem impossible for someone with your schedule, making the time to attend these events from time to time is an important networking opportunity.
If you try to avoid these because they cause a bit of anxiety, there are ways to prepare to make these conferences a success. Try to choose a smaller conference that immerses you in the day’s events completely. This is a great way to make valuable connections.
4. Narrow Down Your List of Contacts
While social media websites might make it easier to connect to thousands of people each day, truly meaningful connections take time to establish. One of the best networking tips you should follow is to narrow down your list of contacts.
Create a list of people you want to reach out to directly. You might already have these people in your network but haven’t taken the time to reach out consistently. This group should only include those who can offer some type of meaningful benefit to your professional career.
5. Refer Contacts to Current Job Openings
A simple way to network and strengthen your connections with other professionals in your industry is to refer people to job openings at your business. Facilitating employment opportunities for professionals whom you trust can create a great working relationship and bring something new to your business.
6. Reach Out to Those Outside Your Industry
Creative business networking should always include reaching out to professionals outside of your industry. This might not lead to new employment opportunities but you can learn new things to bring to your place of work. New ideas will always improve your business.
One way to make professional connections to other industries is to reach out to personal friends who work in a completely different industry. Attending events with friends that don’t relate to your line of work will always lead you to think outside the box and come up with new ideas.
7. Join a Professional Group in Your Industry
When networking for business, you should look into joining a specialized professional group. These groups offer networking that can lead to real professional connections.
Professionals associations exist in every industry whether you’re a lawyer or work in education. There are also associations created specifically for professional women or Hispanic business owners and so on.
8. Set up Some Phone Calls
Making the time to network might be something you don’t want to add to your plate but it’s a crucial part of your success. One way to add networking to your workday is to schedule a few phone calls throughout the month.
After reaching out to some connections through social media or email, ask them if you can set up a phone call to talk further. A phone call can be kept short so that you can ask them the most important questions you have.
9. Schedule Networking Events Into Your Calendar
While networking events might be hard to get to with a busy life, try to schedule an event at least once per week so you can continue building strong connections. One thing you can do when attending an event where you don’t know anyone is to register and connect with attendees online, once you get to the event you can have more to speak about.
10. Use Your Lunch Break to Network
Every break you have can be used to build on your connections and network with new people. Instead of spending your lunch break locked up in your office, eat lunch with a different colleague or industry peer when you’re able and see your network begin to expand.
Networking Tips to Keep in Mind
Networking can be difficult for a busy professional but some of the networking tips listed above can help facilitate networking for you and expand your connections with professionals in your industry.
Check out our blog to learn more about building a successful network and connect with industry professionals on our site to develop the professional relationships you’ve always wanted.