“It’s not what you know but who you know” — we’ve all heard that saying multiple times. There’s a reason as to why we hear this saying so much, it’s because it’s true. Knowing the right people within your field of work can have a huge impact on your professional development. However, this can be a challenging endeavour, especially so when you are new to a certain industry or city. That being said there are a few small steps you can take in order to build a system that works for you. Here is how to get started”

1. Make A Habit Out of Networking

Make sure you have some sort of networking routine, whether that be having a milestone such as drinking at least 5 coffees a week with someone new or attending a certain amount of networking events every month. Sticking to these goals will ensure you are constantly meeting new people who may be helpful in furthering your professional career and growing your overall network.

Four people holding hands in a circle

2. Attend Networking Events

Networking events exist for one purpose: for you to grow your professional network. Find the events which are right for you, don’t forget your business cards and go for it!

Using the Presso App is a good place to start as you will be able to see who else is attending before you actually show up to the event, this will save you time as you will already know who would be good to talk to beforehand.

3. Find a Mentor

Having a mentor who has valuable experience in your industry can really help you expand your professional network. Not only will they share resources and advice, but they will also introduce you to key players within your space.

Four people holding hands in a circle

4. Use Social Media

Social Media is a valuable tool which you should be using to reach out to people you want to connect with professionally. The obvious place to start is LinkedIn, a social network for professionals. Having a strong Linkedin profile, joining LinkedIn groups and connecting with the right people online can go a long way. However, LinkedIn is not the only place to reach out to potential new work connections on social media. Instagram is a great platform to seek out and connect with potential collaborators.

On Instagram, you can watch other people’s “stories”, usually a short personal video or image which will be deleted after twenty-four hours. Replying to these “stories” with a direct message is a great way to start a conversation, especially if you see something that relates directly to what you are doing. Networking on Instagram is less formal and thus allows you to build a more personal relationship with whomever you are connecting with as you will both have access to each other’s personal content through the Instagram feed and stories.

5. Offer Value Before Asking for Help

Networking is a two-way road! Think about how you can bring value to the person you are getting in touch with. This rings especially true if you are getting in touch with someone who’s very successful as they’re unlikely to make time for you unless you have something to offer.

Follow these guidelines and you will be sure to grow your professional network in no time. It’s all about putting yourself out there, offering some sort of value and using the tools and channels which are available to you.