7 ideas for expanding your professional network

Professional networks can be like a spider’s web that spreads and offers new possibilities on its impact.

Today, the web allows you to expand your network beyond a simple geographic area or your immediate knowledge. The fact is that growing your professional network is essential and not always an easy exercise to practice. To help you out, we have detailed 7 ideas for you to make the most of your chances.

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1. Establish an Action Plan

It’s good to want more networks. But knowing and understanding what to expect from it is even better. The meetings you are going to have should also be based on your ambitions and your values. Therefore you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my professional or development goal?
  • How will I use my network?
  • In what framework shall I interact with him?

So that means you have to be strategic and selective. There are many requests, especially in the context of virtual networks such as LinkedIn. And you cannot accept all requests.

2. Association of Entrepreneurs

There are many professional networks specializing in your field of activity. If you are a solo businessman, you will be able to find connections with other people in your case. the gain? You benefit from a group dynamic, a portfolio of interesting contacts and you meet other entrepreneurs who may need your information.

3. Don’t Stay Focused

It’s not just about building a relationship by thinking about what others can do for you. Stay in the conversation, take an interest in your interlocutors by asking them questions about their expectations, their wishes, their activities, etc.

It is very likely that the person you are talking to will return the favor.

4. Play no role

Be it virtual networks or physical meetings, keep your approach simple and clean. For this we recommend you:

  • be yourself. Better to claim your authenticity, don’t need to be role-playing
  • Present just who you are and your professional project
  • If possible, name a contact who is similar to you with this new interlocutor.

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5. Use the Alumni Network

Your former classmates, whether it’s college, high school, prep or even school, are undoubtedly also on professional platforms like LinkedIn or Video. Don’t hesitate to reconnect with them.

Some may work in companies that look after you or in positions important to your growth.

The advantage of past camaraderie is that it will be (re)easier to establish contact.

6. Prioritize Physical Meetings Instead of Virtual Meetings

It’s nice to be behind your screen, but it’s even better to meet people “in real”! It is really the combination of the two approaches that will allow you to expand your network more effectively.

To meet real people, you’ll be able to:

  • go to networking evenings
  • Organize lunch after the first meeting or after the virtual exchange
  • Attend a trade show or meeting organized by your Chamber of Commerce

7. Maintain Your Network

Lastly, it’s important not to limit your efforts to meetings but to maintain your network. To do this, once you’ve contacted and met a person, consider reconnecting with them via email or call. The choice of channel has to be suited to the person in front of you, the nature of the meeting, etc.

Either way, don’t let too much time pass before you can reconnect. To estimate, for example, you can put a reminder in your diary so that it can be relaunched in due course.

Look at the relationship for a long time and repeat this operation regularly. Otherwise you will be quickly forgotten and it will be very difficult to reactivate this member of your network.

Also use social networks to mark your presence. Like or comment on a post, you can recall good memories of your interlocutors.

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