For seven days at BlackEnterprise.com, we offer seven steps to refreshing and recharging your network — weather you’re an introvert or extrovert — so you’ll attract the right people and start building long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. Building a community of people who support you does takes time, but there are strategic ways you can get started expanding your professional network today!
BOSS MOVE, DAY TWO: Cultivate Your Current Relationships
Start with what you have. Throughout your life, you can meet hundreds, maybe even thousands of people. Many know you very well and can vouch for your character but may not know you’re looking for a job, trying to advance your career, or that you’ve started a business. If you’ve already built a vast network, sometimes it’s easy to lose touch or be overwhelmed by numbers.
In order for your business relationships to bear fruit, you must cultivate and grow those existing relationships. This is a great time to review and edit your contact list, and update them on all on the things happening in your life. You may find you are the perfect person to fill a position at their office, collaborate with them on a project, or offer a service.
ACTION: Create an e-mail that outlines where you are in your life right now, what amazing things you are doing and how you can be an asset. Take notice of who’s who in your network and tailor the e-mail to the appropriate people. Remember, the best relationships are cultivated, and with time and effort, you may be able to develop the connection and turn the contact into a long-term client or job referral.
BOSS MOVE, DAY SEVEN: Take Time to Rest and Recharge
Cameka Smith is a speaker, educator, social entrepreneur and founder of The BOSS Network, a community of career and entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online and via event-based networking. In addition, Smith provides resources for women entrepreneurs and professionals through workshops and speaking engagements. She is also a mentor and program facilitator for Project BOSS, which matches professionals with youth.