Being a PR professional, your network is your net worth. People who are well-established in the PR industry are able to expand their business by leveraging their connections.
You have likely gone to an event and met that one person whose sole purpose is to introduce himself and give out his card to everyone. To build his network, all he did was shoot himself in the foot.
To know how to build your professional network and to go from just another person to someone trusted whom you can do business with, we listed a few key lessons:
Think of them as friends, not as contacts:
Treat all people that you meet as a possible friend and show that you’re interested in them beyond just what their professional capabilities are. Find mutual interests that you both have outside of work and discuss them. It helps people associate with you as a real human rather than another connection, strengthening the bond.
You don’t need to connect with everyone:
Don’t be that person who tries to be friends with everyone. The greatest strength of the Internet is that it has removed physical distance as a barrier. With your ability to connect with so many people via the Internet, it is okay if you don’t hit it off. Don’t force it. Remember, think of them as friends, not as contacts.
Build a community:
When you know two persons, of whom one needs a service and the other one can provide it, help them connect. If you do so, it will bring incredible results to your business. As you expand everyone’s network, they will start to introduce you to others.
Offer your expertise:
No one is good at everything, you will be more skilled and adept at something that they are not. In such cases, offer your assistance freely and without strings attached. It shows them that you provided value. This increases the chance that they might come back to you if they need PR campaigns for their business.
Remember, a few deep connections are far more beneficial and powerful than a large number of superficial ones. People want to work with people whom they like and if you showcase yourself as someone who contributes value, you will get a ton of value back.