Around the ATL Events Group office we realize that networking isn’t the easiest process, especially if you don’t have much experience doing it. The problem is that you have to engage in focused networking if you want to build a diverse list of helpful contacts. Here are a few effective strategies we’ve discovered for building a strong network from the ground up:
• Do Your Homework: Before you add valuable professional connections, you have to find out where you can meet people from your industry who can help your career. Professional journals are good places to start, because it’s best to have a clear picture of what types of connections will provide long-lasting value. The more you read about high achievers, the better idea you’ll have of how your own journey will look.
• Use Social Media: LinkedIn is the best place to start digging deeper into the potential contacts you identify through your research. Once you find some common ground in terms of career achievements and experiences, you can reach out to your intended connections in advance of a big event. We view this as essential prep work in our ATL Events Group networking exploits.
• Ask Lots of Questions: If you really want to add helpful allies to your network, you have to make your initial discussions all about them. Asking open-ended questions is the best way to do this, because it makes them feel valued and helps you find more shared interests on which to build a connection.
These strategies take a lot of the guesswork out of the networking process.