You Should Attend a Few Conferences
Conferences are a fantastic way to network with people you are interested in working with. With travel becoming cheaper and more accessible and the internet helping you stay connected afterwards, there continues to be great value in attending a good conference. As a bonus, maybe you will learn something new and useful while you are there!
You Can Join an Association or Club
Freelancers, technology, affiliate marketing, and so much more: there are groups for everything now. Whatever group of people you choose to join can prove to be an extremely valuable resource. Groups provide insights, networking, tips, and more. Most professional groups host regular meet-ups or presentations, the perfect place to grow your networking circle.
Fine-Tune Your Online Presence
More and more every day, the world of social media and websites has an influence on your life. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and your own website will all show up if someone types your name into a search bar. Be careful and specific about what you post online, how you format your profiles, and who you connect with to improve your social media networking. Make sure you use this network to connect with others who you have met or want to meet.
Build Real Human Connections
No one wants to feel like they are just a number, or a part of a scheme. Networking is not about making a sale immediately, but about finding connections who will improve your professional career for years to come. People do not just want to be a part of someone’s network, they want to be friends and feel real connections. Focusing on quality, not quantity, will most assuredly produce better results.
Ask for Introductions
If you have done everything above and you still want more connections, or you would love to speak with someone specific, take advantage of the network you have already built. Chances are, someone knows who you want to speak to, and if you ask nicely, they will probably introduce you to them. Pay careful attention to step 4, because you want those who are making the introductions to have a positive view of you and confidence in your abilities.