Whether you embrace this mantra or not, you must admit that it’s true in some cases. Knowing the right person at the right company can make all the difference. It could help you break into the organization you admire or score your dream job. Today, we’re giving you tips on how to connect with anyone—regardless of status, title, or profession.
Whether you work from home and need to reach the right people, you’re ready for a significant career shift, or you simply want tips for networking effectively, you’re in the right place.
Networking doesn’t only benefit you. It also helps the person or business looking for someone just like you. You might end up adding talent to a team, providing a much-needed perspective, or filling a unique pair of shoes.
Networking should be mutually beneficial. You should provide value if you want someone to do you a favor.
Deliberately connecting with people outside of your “circle” could keep your options open in the future, give you new insights, push you outside your comfort zone, or lead to new business.
Connect with anyone anywhere by networking with people you already know, understanding what you want, using social media and networking apps, and being patient.
Why should I connect with people outside my industry?
Your first instinct may be to network with people who fit neatly into your market, niche, or industry. But deliberately connecting with people outside of your “circle” can be hugely beneficial for numerous reasons:
You won’t limit your options if you change careers, leave your current company, or dip your toes in a new industry.
Your perspective may be limited. Greater exposure could give you a higher vantage point and show you more diversity.
It will push you outside your comfort zone (a place we can all learn and grow).
You’ll gain new industry insights.
It may lead to new business.
Connections may refer you to people they know to expand your network further.
How to connect with anyone, anywhere
Ready to learn how to connect with any person in any industry or location? Here are some pro tips to send you confidently on your way.
1. Start with people you know
The first step is to make a solid list of people you know. You may already have a great foundation to build from. Start by adding people in your personal life—the ones who know you best—like friends and family members. This is your “core group.”
Then add professional connections like coworkers, supervisors, clients, and the like. Continue building from there to diversify your list. It might help to browse your social media accounts. You can include colleagues and bosses from past jobs, people from college, your running club, a yoga instructor—anyone you have a connection with.
Add people from different fields, companies, and walks of life to expand your circle. Even virtual-only acquaintances and old friends could prove valuable at some point.
Next, it’s time to reach out!
2. Use LinkedIn
Are you active on LinkedIn? The platform makes networking easy and virtually painless (no pun intended). By completing your profile with a professional photo, complete headline, and thorough “About” section, you’ll set yourself up for success (i.e., exposure and relationship-building opportunities galore).
Here’s a list of the type of connections you might find on LinkedIn:
Alumni and other school groups
Local business owners
People in companies where you aspire to work
People in your niche
People you may know
Other job seekers
Influencers in your industry
3. Be humble and kind (and specific)
A good attitude, confidence, and humility can go a long way. Building a solid network takes courage and effort. Being humble while knowing what you want can show you’re eager, but not arrogant.
Your goal shouldn’t necessarily be to “score a new job” or “win a new customer” right off the bat. Networking is a time to build an authentic connection that benefits you and the person on the other end, which leads us to our next point.
4. Provide value to others
What are you offering your connections? If your relationships aren’t mutually beneficial, they might not stick. The message you send out might not even get a second glance.
Presenting value to others while networking will help you form connections more easily and with greater confidence. Your message or speech should include what you bring to the table in exchange for the favor you ask.
5. Be patient
Remember that the connections you make today may not have an immediate payoff. Connecting with people in different industries can be helpful down the road—maybe even years later. You may switch careers, go into a new field, or know someone with influence.
Regardless of whether your connection “pays off,” you’ll still learn, grow as a person, and gain new perspectives—which makes the process worthwhile.
Bonus: Try a new app!
Everyone is familiar with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Did you know there are lots of other apps specifically designed for professional networking? Here’s a list to help you get started:
Ready to tap into a network of like-minded professionals?
If you’re seeking new career opportunities, looking for a new side hustle, or want to start working from home, Vector Marketing could be a great fit.
Even though you’ll be working in direct sales, you don’t need prior selling experience. You’ll learn everything from setting goals and doing virtual presentations to answering client questions and building a solid network—so you can start earning great pay as soon as possible.
Learn how to build new skills and start earning this week.