Published 13 June 2018 Category: Compass Tips, Networking, Startups, Entrepreneur

Networking Tips from Top CEOs

We’re often led to believe that success is the outcome of hard work, planning, strategy, positive attitude and all the other pop culture notions. In the real world however, your success largely depends on your relationships with people and your business networking skills. Sounds surprising? Not if you see from the perspective of top CEOs who have always valued the relationship they have with external (and internal) stakeholders. If you’re an entrepreneur or someone who wants to take the first step of entrepreneurship, you will need to learn the art of professional networking.
 
So how to network and build a trustworthy relationship? Here are some tips from top CEOs.
 

1. Find a Meaningful Way to Connect with the Right People

Professional networking doesn’t happen by adding random people on LinkedIn nor by attending conferences where you would have a hard time struggling to form lasting relationships. If you want to connect with the right people, you have to be a part of their daily routine and try to find a meaningful way to connect with them. Initiate a social activity like a marathon or an early morning cycling routine, join places as the gym or a sports club where you can get the opportunity to connect and talk with the people you would like to be associated with. Remember, CEOs, investors, businessmen etc are aware of the desire people have to build a network with them, therefore, they will be wary of usual networking tricks. If you want to build a solid connection, you have to find a way to work hard at it.
 

2. Attract the Right People by Creating a Noise in Your Domain

Hustling, picking random chats with strangers and networking by being in an alienated group doesn’t come easy to most people; especially for introverts. Young entrepreneurs often force themselves into networking only to eventually come off as being clingy and annoying. To avoid such uncomfortable situations and to also connect the right people - attract them with your work and your reputation. One of the best startup networking methods is to create a noise in your industry and let people come to you, and learn more about your work. In fact, people love to connect with those who are excellent at what they do, thereby, already earning the respect and trust of their audience.
 

3. Build Your Personal Brand

In today’s modern world, building your personal brand is crucial to professional networking. People who want to connect with you want to know more about you, your thoughts and your overall reputation in the industry. Your social media profiles are crucial to help you build a strong brand reputation which will be instrumental in attracting the right people. Top CEOs therefore, advise to be very careful about what you put out there on social media - avoid badmouthing your workplace or your colleagues; avoid using foul language; avoid displaying private life pictures on professional networks and avoid mindless debates. Treat your social and public life as a brand and you’ll start to pique people’s interest.
 

4. Share Knowledge and Be Helpful

Networking is only possible when you have a human connection with someone. The connection can be developed in a number of ways, such as sharing knowledge, lending a helping hand, working together for a cause, or even doing someone a favour. When you share knowledge and help people, you automatically set a reputation for yourself as someone who is kind, empathetic, wise and a reliable person - all of which are qualities that can set you apart from the rest and help you develop quality relationships with people.
 

5. Go the Extra Mile

It’s quite easy these days to connect with influencers and industry leaders, but a few Twitter mentions or a random comment is not going to cut it. Maintain the relationship by initiating a conversation or a chat on topics they are passionate about. Get to know them, talk to them in person. Build a connection with them and offer them value. Tell them who you are and what you bring to the table. Show them your work and ask for their advice or insight. Go the extra mile to build the relationship you want to have.

 
Although we have all kinds of digital communication platforms at our disposal, networking still doesn’t come easy. It requires you to go out there and build long-lasting connections with people who will assist you in achieving your professional and business goals. A move as this requires strategy, effort and a dedication to maintaining relationships over time. So ready to start networking?