4 Unconventional Networking Strategies You Should Try

By Alyssa Lahham

Networking is invaluable to business and career growth. It opens up opportunities, fosters learning and growth, and can lead to great friendships. Even the most skilled networkers can benefit from mixing up their strategies. Here are four unconventional networking tips that are both fun to do and likely to help you build lasting connections.

  1. Volunteer for a cause you care about. This is a great way to connect with people who share your values and passions. My favorite way to volunteer is through skilled giving, which allows you to make a huge impact on non-profits and helps you sharpen your skills at the same time. Taproot is a great resource to help you connect with causes you care about that are looking for your professional capabilities.
  2. Speak at an event or on a webinar. Thought leadership is a powerful networking strategy. Sharing your knowledge helps to establish yourself as an industry expert, which helps grow your personal brand and makes more people want to connect with you. Plus, speaking allows you to get your message across to everyone in the room, rather than just a handful of people at a time. Make sure to connect with attendees after you speak, so you can build relationships and learn about them too. Can’t get over your fear of public speaking? Try writing blogs instead.
  3. Create your own group. The options here are endless – start a book club, develop a professional association, work on a project, found a non-profit, etc. This strategy allows you to network on multiple levels. You can reach out to people who have been successful in that space for guidance, you can recruit peers with similar goals to join you, and you can give guidance to mentees who have similar ideas in the future.
  4. Reconnect with past friends and coworkers. It’s easy to lose touch. Make an effort to reconnect with high school and college friends. Catch up and talk about where you’re at in your careers. There are bound to be ways you can help each other, either directly or through connections. While you’re at it, reconnect with the people you met using strategies 1-3! Reconnecting with contacts will help keep your network strong. Easy ways to touch base are to send relevant articles or send LinkedIn messages to congratulate job updates.

Have any more out-of-the-box networking strategies that have worked for you? Please comment!

Also published on IMA WLG 

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