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Taking Professional Networking to New Heights
If you've been in business for a while, you've probably mastered the art of professional networking by now or at least come close. Maybe you attend chamber of commerce and industry events. You’ve got your “elevator pitch” down describing who you are and what you do. You carry a fresh stack of business cards at the ready wherever you go.
Turning to the usual networking tactics may work, however, the creativity and can-do spirit that you bring to your business can also be applied to building your network in new ways. With that in mind, here are some tactics to take your professional networking above and beyond the basics.
Get a handle on your Internet presence.
What comes up when you search your own name on Google? The more results you yield, the more "visible" you are on the Internet. Make note of the descriptions related to your name or your company name in search results.
Come up with a handful of key words and phrases that encapsulate who you are and what you do. Use those words in your social network and other online bios for consistency. Other ways you can increase the appearance of your name in search results include:
Increasing your visibility gives you more opportunities to be seen by others online and participating in social networks helps you expand your connections.
Share your expertise.
You've gained an incredible amount of knowledge as you've worked to get your business off the ground. That knowledge can be valuable to others including aspiring entrepreneurs.
Consider sharing what you’ve learned to showcase your expertise and to get your name out there. Share what you know by:
People search out experts in their areas of interest. Positioning yourself as an authority can help you build both your profile and your network.
Empower your team to network.
You're the boss, and you're responsible for bringing in business and fostering relationships. But you don't have to do it alone. When your employees make connections on behalf of your company, everyone wins. Capitalize on your employees' networking potential by:
Your team has the potential to expand your company's network even further if you give them permission, opportunity and proper training.
Other networking ideas
If you still feel you or your team is falling short with your professional networking efforts, here are a few more tactics that can give you a jump start:
The key to networking success is to remember that everything you do in public and online is an opportunity to present yourself in a way that shows others why they should be doing business with you.