Whether you’re a brand new business owner or a seasoned entrepreneur, you probably understand the value of networking.
Selena Soo is a firm believer in relationship-building as a key strategy for business growth, and Is passionate about teaching people how to create stronger and better connections with people in and outside of their communities.
Networking is a great way to break into your industry’s inner circle and connect with influencers you can learn from or who can help open important doors for you. And the secret to building the most powerful relationships lies in your own perspective.
The best way to approach making new connections is to see networking as a way of helping people. When your mind is focused on what you can do for people you encounter—instead of what they can do for you—it’s only a matter of time before the favor will be returned.
Yes, all relationships are essentially a cycle of giving and receiving; but if you lead with taking, it will turn people off and they won’t feel like you’re genuinely interested in getting to know them. If you’re more inclined to give within your social circles, however, you’ll naturally reap the benefits.
Here are a few of my favorite tips for using this approach, both with new acquaintances and long-time connections:
Take a genuine interest in their life and their work, with no strings attached. Never open with an ask. Instead, show them that you’re honestly interested in getting to know them and building a relationship. So often I see people send out emails asking a total stranger for help. Instead, find a way to express that you want to build a relationship with them before you ask them for something.
Proactively find ways to show up for them. Learn more about what they’re working on or experiencing and preemptively look for opportunities to help. For example, if you know they’re looking to hire for a certain position or grow their team, perhaps there’s someone in your circle that you could recommend. If you notice them passionately promoting something that you also believe in, like a revolutionary program, a life-changing service, a new book, or even a worthy charitable cause, maybe you could share it with your own audience.
See networking as a long-term strategy. Build your network long before you need it by making it a part of your everyday routine. Actively look for people you can encourage as you move through your day, and make it a priority to thoughtfully reach out to the people in your circle on a regular basis.
Approaching each day as an opportunity to help others will naturally spark authentic human connections with people around you… and fostering those connections will lead to deeply rewarding relationships in your business and your life!