Want to expand your network? Here are three tips to get you started building new connections, even during a pandemic.
Know Your Why and Who
You can have the goal to expand your network but it should start with a solid understanding of why you’re doing it. The next step is identifying who is your target networking persona.
Just like every good business should have a clear plan of whom they want to reach, consider writing out your ‘why’ and ‘who’.
For example, if you’re a Product Manager your ‘who’ might be to connect with other Product Managers in the Silicon Prairie area.
Your ‘why’ could be to learn from their experience through shared case studies of successful and failed projects that can help you perform well in your current or future role.
Join a LinkedIn Group
With the global pandemic still affecting the way we interact and connect with friends and family, it can be even more challenging finding ways to expand your network.
However, it’s not impossible. Joining a LinkedIn group tailored to your target networking persona will get you closer to your goal of expanding your network. LinkedIn has thousands of groups, both public and private, that you can search out to join and become an active member.
Some groups are more active than others so do your research to see which group has the best opportunities for you to interact with the members.
Sign Up for a Professional Book Club
If you love reading, this tip will be an easy way for you to explore and expand your network.
However, if you hate the idea of book clubs because you were a part of one in the past and it was a roundtable of people who were trying to sound like thought leaders rather than actually being one, we get it!
Yet, professional book clubs offer the opportunity for you to continuously meet new people who fit your target networking persona.
Also, many professional book clubs look for people to help carry the load and often provide opportunities for different people to lead the discussion. Taking an opportunity to facilitate a discussion or two can put you in the forefront to connect and grow your network.
By taking this approach to professional book clubs it will take commitment and consistency to continuously expand your network.
The most important thing to remember is to be genuine, to be yourself and to have fun. When taking the first step to expand your network, always go back to your why and let that guide your connections naturally.