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BUILDING A NETWORK YOU CAN TAP INTO LATER

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You ever heard the saying “your network is your net worth”? The people you know can carry you further along than any one skill you have. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people that do the exact thing you do. The single most important factor that determines who gets the opportunity and who doesn’t is based on who you know, and the type of relationship you have fostered with them. 

LINKED IN INVITES

Send invites to connect with people you would like to build a relationship with, and be sure to personalize your invitation.  The box that says “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn,” personalize that message so it is not so generic. Address them by name, introduce yourself and what you do, something you admire/appreciate about what they do, and that you would like to stay in touch. Like this:

Hello Marie,

My name is Tara and I am an NYC-based freelance hair stylist. I’ve been a long time admirer of Such & Such Co. and love the work you do with them. I’d love to connect and continue following your work. I look forward to staying in touch!

-Tara

Keep it short and simple (300 characters to be exact), and don’t over flatter, its disingenuous. And once they are your connection on LinkedIn, be sure to stay in touch by liking/commenting on the things they share, and liking/congratulating them on work anniversaries and new jobs.

STAY ON THEIR RADAR

Staying in touch can be simple. Follow and interact with the people you’d like to connect with and have as part of your network via social media. Like, comment, and engage with their content. Put and keep yourself on their radar. This way, should you reach out via DM or e-mail, you are already a familiar name and face.

EVENTS & ENGAGEMENTS

A girl boss you really admire is speaking on the panel for an event in your city? Attend the event and introduce yourself afterwards. Most people promote the events or appearances they are either hosting or attending, make it a point to attend events and make a real life connection with them. And if you are throwing an event, invite them to attend! Give them a chance to put a face to a name, and leave them something to remember you by.

SHOW OFF YOUR WORK

If you’re a writer, share the things you have written with your network. If you’re a hair stylist, post work you have done with clients. If you’re a photographer, every image you post online should be flawless examples of what you can do. Get what you do in front of as many people as possible, as often as you can. That way, they know who to come to when they’re looking for someone who does what you have showed time and time again you can do exceptionally well.

OFFER VALUE TO THEM

People don’t like to feel used, so chances are if you are just reaching out to ask for something from them whenever you do reach out, that’s not a relationship you will have for very long. If you’re a beauty blogger and the owner of an indie cosmetics line you really love is releasing a new product, ask to interview her about her new product so you can share it with your readers. Getting her new product in front of as many people as possible is a value she will appreciate. Offer, don’t just ask. Be of service too.

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