“Your network determines your net-worth.”
How many times have you heard that saying?
Well, it’s true, and in these economic times, professionals can’t afford to lack access to a growing network. A strong professional network is vital to the growth of businesses or career advancement. For some, the art of networking is easy. For others, the mere thought brings on anxiety.
Here’s a challenge: Step outside of your comfort zone and realize that your attitude really does determine your altitude. In the next seven days, at BlackEnterprise.com, we offer seven steps to doing so — 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 ONE: Develop a networking database.
In today’s market, success lies in learning how to maximize your return on investment. Whether you’re attending a local networking event or an expensive business conference, managing your network is critical. Keeping track of all your contacts is the start to building a strong network. Contrary to popular belief, having a file full of business cards is not networking. Take the time to survey your database of contacts to make sure you know who each contact is and what prompted you to take their business card in the first place.
ACTION: Create a spreadsheet with all of the pertinent information from your business cards or e-mail contacts (such as their name, business, place of work, title, contact number and e-mail address). Make sure you include key information in your notes section that shows the connection between you and the contact (ie. The school they attended, where you met them, their favorite book, etc.)
For more information on how to maximize use of spreadsheets, visit MicrosoftOffice.com.
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.