Spring in to Action! Grow your Professional Network

Spring is here! There is a sweet smell in the air, flowers are blooming, and birds are singing. Vibrant colors and new growth is popping up all around us. Naturally, it is the perfect time to think about growing your network.

Brilliant idea, you say, but where do you start? The answer is simple: everywhere! Everywhere you go there is potential to network and meet new people. Opportunity is all around you, sometimes in the most unlikely places. You could meet your next lifetime client while standing in line at the grocery store. Of course, it is not always as simple as grocery store hopping! To grow a strong professional network you need to cultivate and nurture your contacts.

Prepare the soil. Attend local networking groups or start your own. If an organization is worth your time be right in the middle of the action. When you are all-in, you will build relationships that matter. These types of relationships build trust and friendships that often lead to business opportunities.

Plant the seeds. It takes time to build a relationship. Follow up is vital, but with a busy schedule it’s much easier said than done. When you meet a person who you think will strengthen your business, you should be in touch at least once a month. Even if it is just a quick call or email. Schedule reoccurring touches in your calendar. The goal here is to stay fresh in their mind. Persistence is vital my friends!

Continually nurture your network. Networking is a perpetual give-and-take. I’ll scratch your back, and when the time comes you will scratch mine! That means recommending somebody else for a job or putting him or her in touch with an acquaintance that would benefit them. Strive to be the go-to person when your contacts need something.

Develop strong roots. Developing real, trusting and deep relationships with your professional contacts is essential. Learn what is important to your contacts and stay in touch. Your network will not thrive if it is full of people who you do not know very well. It is not just about who you know – it’s about how well you know them.

Make the time to “care and feed” your contacts with helpful information! Before you know it, your network will be blossoming with opportunities and business will bloom vibrantly.