When your network is too small or non-existent, finding a new job is nearly impossible. However, in the age of social media – which is less than 20 years old, you can rapidly build and nurture a network.
Expand your network one person at a time
I am a believer in building networks very personally. You may think that expanding quickly by just randomly asking people to connect would build your network more quickly. The reality is that you are more likely to be seen as a spammer if you just collect people. Effective networks are best built with personal relationships.
When you need to reach out to your network for help, you want to have people who recognize your name. Even in this online world, conversations are possible on every platform.
Strategically expand your network
Research the people you want to connect with and learn something about them. On LinkedIn, sending a personalized invitation will bring you more people who are likely to add you as a connection and expand your professional network.
Regularly communicate with your network. I am as guilty as anyone else in not keeping the communication lines open. In the last 10 years, as I expanded my business from primarily a local side hustle to a full-time nationwide career service targeting director to executive-level leaders, I have been busy. It is hard to reach out to my network regularly. It is tough to connect with even the latest clients on a regular basis.
Social media has allowed me to speak with part of my client base regularly. On LinkedIn, I get messages from former clients and comments on some of the updates I post. On Facebook, many of my clients are connected with me and we are able to see a much more personal side of each other. I love that.
This is one of the reasons I coach clients to diversify your social media platforms. While LinkedIn is a great place to connect with professionals, it still feels like you should keep your dress clothes on most of the time. On Facebook, you can dress casually and speak about family matters.
Do you understand how to leverage networking to find your next role? I coach people to find their networks, identify their goals, and market themselves. Learn more.