The Networking Mistakes That Can Sabotage Success

Networking is an important activity for driven professionals. It can help them to build their brand, expand their opportunities, and grow their business. While most professionals have the best intentions when it comes to networking, there are some common mistakes that can dramatically limit their success. The more aware professionals are of these errors, the better they can avoid making them themselves. Here are some of the top mistakes that can sabotage your networking efforts:

Your main focus is on what you can gain.

Networking is certainly beneficial for professionals, but when that is their main focus, it can limit their success. Instead of approaching each interaction thinking about what you can gain, professionals should be thinking about what they have to offer. When you’re only focused on your own gains, your efforts can come across as disingenuous. When you flip your perspective and focus on how you can bring value to the other person, you can change the entire tone of the interaction. You can make a more authentic connection and build a stronger foundation for an ongoing relationship.

You rely on social media to build and maintain your network.

There’s no doubt that social media is a great tool for professionals. When it comes to networking, connecting with new people, especially on sites like LinkedIn, can be a strategy to grow your web of contacts. Unfortunately, some professionals begin to rely on this as their only strategy. To build a strong network of valuable connections, professionals need to push beyond online connections. Get to networking events and meet people in person, consider reaching out to an online connection to set up an in-person meeting. When you combine online efforts with in-person ones, you’ll maximize the efficacy of your networking efforts.

Your efforts are only directed towards making new connections.

Sure, we all want to grow our network, and making new connections is an important part of the puzzle. But if our network is full of mostly new connections with whom we’ve had little interaction, we’re hardly reaching its full potential. A beneficial network requires regular maintenance and strengthening. As much as you focus on making new connections, you also need to work on developing the ones you have. Don’t neglect older contacts. All connections are valuable, and extending the effort to maintain them is an essential strategy for growing a powerful network.

You don’t follow up.

Some people tend to wait for the other person to reach out. And when they don’t hear anything, they let the connection drop off. Following up can help set a connection in stone. It shows that you’re engaged and interested, and it makes the other person feel valued. It only takes a minute to send a follow-up email, and making that move to schedule a call or in-person meeting or simply to say thank you for an earlier conversation can step your networking efforts up to the next level.

 

Ambitious professionals can’t afford to make these networking mistakes. A network is an incredibly valuable tool, and when you’re able to avoid these common mistakes, you can really maximize its potential. Do you have any other networking mistakes that professionals should be cautious to avoid? Please share them!

Networking is an important activity for driven professionals. It can help them to build their brand, expand their opportunities, and grow their business. While most professionals have the best intentions when it comes to networking, there are some common mistakes that can dramatically limit their success. The more aware professionals are of these errors, the better they can avoid making them themselves. Here are some of the top mistakes that can sabotage your networking efforts:

Your main focus is on what you can gain.

Networking is certainly beneficial for professionals, but when that is their main focus, it can limit their success. Instead of approaching each interaction thinking about what you can gain, professionals should be thinking about what they have to offer. When you’re only focused on your own gains, your efforts can come across as disingenuous. When you flip your perspective and focus on how you can bring value to the other person, you can change the entire tone of the interaction. You can make a more authentic connection and build a stronger foundation for an ongoing relationship.

You rely on social media to build and maintain your network.

There’s no doubt that social media is a great tool for professionals. When it comes to networking, connecting with new people, especially on sites like LinkedIn, can be a strategy to grow your web of contacts. Unfortunately, some professionals begin to rely on this as their only strategy. To build a strong network of valuable connections, professionals need to push beyond online connections. Get to networking events and meet people in person, consider reaching out to an online connection to set up an in-person meeting. When you combine online efforts with in-person ones, you’ll maximize the efficacy of your networking efforts.

Your efforts are only directed towards making new connections.

Sure, we all want to grow our network, and making new connections is an important part of the puzzle. But if our network is full of mostly new connections with whom we’ve had little interaction, we’re hardly reaching its full potential. A beneficial network requires regular maintenance and strengthening. As much as you focus on making new connections, you also need to work on developing the ones you have. Don’t neglect older contacts. All connections are valuable, and extending the effort to maintain them is an essential strategy for growing a powerful network.

You don’t follow up.

Some people tend to wait for the other person to reach out. And when they don’t hear anything, they let the connection drop off. Following up can help set a connection in stone. It shows that you’re engaged and interested, and it makes the other person feel valued. It only takes a minute to send a follow-up email, and making that move to schedule a call or in-person meeting or simply to say thank you for an earlier conversation can step your networking efforts up to the next level.

 

Ambitious professionals can’t afford to make these networking mistakes. A network is an incredibly valuable tool, and when you’re able to avoid these common mistakes, you can really maximize its potential. Do you have any other networking mistakes that professionals should be cautious to avoid? Please share them!

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