When it comes to networking to grow your business, knowing what to do is one thing, knowing what not to do is something else entirely. You might think you’re doing everything right, but if you find you’re not making the connections you expected, then perhaps you’ve fallen into some of the network traps out there and didn’t even realize you had.
Here are some common networking mistakes and how you can avoid making them in the future.
Not Getting Help
Many people have a hard time asking other for help. Networking is all about making connections, though. People don’t know what you need unless you ask them.
Use whatever personal or professional network you have and ask them to help you. You need to be connected to the right people. The more people you have getting the word out about you, the better, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Not Maintaining Your Relationships
Its very easy to fall out of touch with people. Maintaining contact with your current network and all of the people in it is going to help you grow.
Follow up with people — your mentors, colleagues, and other contacts — on a regular basis to see how they’re doing. Keep them up to date on you as well. Remember, don’t make it all about you. You will want them to know what you’re up to while also finding out what they’ve been up to.
Not Taking Advantage of Social Media
We live in a day and time where networking is really everything we do every single day. Social media has made it so easy to be connected to so many different people throughout the world, and if you’re not using this then you’re missing out on a great opportunity.
Start using LinkedIn to make professional connections. This isn’t the only social media platform you should be using, but it’s a great place to start and a way to get your name out there.
Not Making In-Person Connections
Yes, we are in a day and time where social media is super-important to networking, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop meeting people in person. You should never do that. You can’t do everything over the internet.
If your online connection is not local to you, then use a multitude of different technologies like Skype which are at your fingertips, to make the world a much smaller place and meet up with people on the other side of it.
Not Being Grateful
Gratitude goes a long way. When someone helps you in whatever way, being grateful will go a long way.
After having a conversation with someone in person or online, send them a quick thank you note for their time. It’s a small thing, but letting people know they are appreciated will go a long way and encourage them to want to speak with you again.
Not Making Sure It’s a Two-Way Street
When someone helps you out and makes a positive connection for you, then you have to be sure that you give back in some way. You especially can’t keep going back and asking for help without giving back in return.
If you can avoid making these common mistakes, then you should be able to create a large and successful network for your business.
Please share any networking tips you may have in the comments below.