Keywords: Networking, Social Networks, LinkedIn
Having been in the consulting industry for the last 20 years, I can’t help stressing the importance of a strong social and client network. I estimate that 75% of my business is repeat business and business gained from networking.
Let’s face it; we live in a small world. If you want to grow your business or even stay in business, you need to develop and maintain your network. People are wired and they are well aware of who works with them, for them, and can help them in their endeavors. So how do you develop your network?
· Stay in touch with former clients and project managers.
· Let them know if you are available for new contracts.
· Use their contacts and network to work for you by asking if they are aware of any new projects on the horizon in their group or in allied organizations.
Develop “social networks” that are conducive to the type of work you do. Join professional associations and become an active member. Create ad-hoc networks by inviting potential clients out for a drink after work or for a cup of coffee.
Finally, learn to manage your network. Put all your contacts together where you can easily review them and keep them up-to-date. Better yet, get your network to do this for you! An example of such a service is LinkedIn and it’s an easy way to manage and develop you network.
Do you want to join my network? Shoot me your e-mail address and tell me the type of consulting and programming that you do and I’ll be happy to send you an invitation to join my LinkedIn network.