Networking remains an essential tool for academic, career and professional advancement. Being able to meet new people, grow your networks and gain business are critical steps for success. But networking can get unpredictable and expensive in this day and age. How can you maximize your endeavors without exhausting your finances? How can you add value to your efforts without compromising on quality?
Listed below are practical tips for getting the most out of your activities and growing viable connections.
Create A Plan
Many savvy networkers overlook the importance of developing a plan for their networking endeavors. A plan simply outlines goals, marketing and expenses for activities. It is highly recommended to create a 12-month plan which highlights common expenses that are sometimes overlooked such as: membership fees, gas, parking, travel, meals, business cards / marketing materials. Consider miscellaneous fees that may arise.
If you are bootstrapping a great idea is to volunteer for memberships to clubs and organizations. Ask to be a support in order to waive registration, membership or associated fees. Take the time to connect with the director or administrator of the association and establish an agreement which benefits both parties.
Another unique idea for networking is create your own networking group with trusted colleagues and affiliates. This can be a low-cost way to gather, share referrals / leads and gain introductions. The concept is merging networks and can have great benefits and payoffs. This type of networking can span geographically and online, as well.
Use these tips to overcome monetary obstacles in your journey to success. These types of strategies can guarantee the growth of strong networks and meaningful relationships.