Do You Have a Professional Network?

When you are just starting out, you may feel alone. I remember when I first started my business. No one knew who I was. No one knew I was even in business. I didn’t have colleagues I could turn to. I had no connections, no professional network.

Except I did have a network. I had a personal network. I was involved in my church, my neighborhood, my children’s school. Some of my first clients came from those places. Then I ventured out. I met other business owners at networking meetings. My professional network expanded. And it keeps expanding.

Now, through the power of social media, I have connections around the world. And I bet you do too. If you think you have no network, start asking people in your personal life for the connections you need. They may not need your services, but they probably know someone who does.

Your Professional Network is Like a Spider Web

Your network is a lot like a spider web. You have long strands that stretch out from the center. These are the organizations and areas of your life where you know people. You are in the center. As you start spinning, you are the thread that connects all those groups and people together.

professional network

You can connect people from different areas of your life and they can connect you to the people you need. The more you connect them, the more they will want to connect you.

Spiders are trying to trap their prey in their web. But in business, you don’t want to trap anyone. You want your web to be a place to gather everyone together. They are free to come and go as it suits them but make the environment of your professional network a place where people want to stay.

If you think you have no network because you are just starting out, think again. Look at the connections you have personally. Reach out to them and ask for professional connections. And as you make professional connections, find out what connections they are looking for. Then look within your web and see if you can help them grow their professional network as well.

In the Loyalty Lab, we work on identifying your professional network and building relationships with them. When you build relationships with your network, no matter how small it is, you will gain more referrals and grow your business.

How have you build your professional network? What are your best connections? What do you do to expand your network? How do you build relationships with those already in your professional network? Share in the comments.

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