Monday, June 24, 2013

Networking Advice

Networking Is About More Than Just Numbers

Article written by Jan Hill - a freelance Journalist who writes for, offering official Vistaprint coupons on networking materials to help freelancers and other professionals make a strong impression. Jan’s work has been featured in many newspapers, magazines, and business trade publications.

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When it comes to business networking, having a diverse network is just as important as having a large network, according to Business Insider.

While it is human nature to want to hang around (and network) with people who are like us, the problem is that they often have similar contacts to the ones we have, making it difficult to grow our network by connecting with new people or companies with which we want to do business.

Why a Diverse Network Is Important

Just as a diverse network can help someone get a good job because a variety of acquaintances naturally improves a jobseeker's chances of having at least one really useful contact, so variety in a business network greatly improves a company's chances of attracting more business and thereby increasing sales.

According to Business Insider, having a diverse network means just as much, and maybe even more, than having a large network. For example, if your network is filled with people from your industry or social group that are exactly like you, it will eventually become narrow and predictable; whereas, if your network is diverse, you're in a position to be connected with people you would have never met otherwise, and these new contacts may be able to help you grow in ways you never thought imaginable.

A diverse network enables business owners to include linchpins in their network. Linchpins are people who cross over between different groups of individuals because of their overlapping interests or connections, and are not easily replaced, according to blogger and marketing guru Seth Godin.

Connecting with linchpins is vital because they can be gateways for their connections, creating shortcuts across groups of people. As stated by Entrepreneur, the more diverse the network, the more likely it will contain one or more linchpins that will link seemingly unrelated groups of people together.

Developing a Diverse Business Network

Networking means more than securing the next sale. It should be a daily activity done to expand a business. To develop a more diverse network, try connecting with people on a level other than business -- possibly through hobbies or other interests that you may have in common. These types of connections often result in deeper, more solid relationships that will ultimately last longer than superficial connections made only for business.

When your network is diverse, it is more important than ever to maintain your connections by actively reaching out through a note, phone call, meeting, email, or a link on a social media channel. With the many options to reconnect that we have today, there is really no excuse not to stay in touch.

If you desire to build a powerful personal network, Dr. Ivan Misner of Business Networking has one suggestion for you -- branch out. Build a diverse network of professional contacts that includes individuals that don't look like you, sound like you, talk like you, or share your background, education, or history. The only thing that they should have in common with you and the other people in your network is the desire to succeed in whatever business they are in.

If you develop this type of personal and business networks, you'll have a network that can help you connect with anyone you choose, and some that you've never dreamed of.

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