How to Build a Better Professional Network

It’s common knowledge that your professional success is heavily influenced by the professional network you create. Even so, we often expect our network to grow passively – with little to no work on our end. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

Building a better professional network happens over time and with quite a bit of effort. These valuable relationships are the result of finding innovative ways to communicate, strengthening existing relationships, creating a fluid networking strategy, and more.

Here’s what you need to know to start building a better professional network:

Find Innovative Ways to Communicate Online

Face-to-face meetings are no longer the go-to; there’s a new demand for making the initial handshake online. Online communication goes beyond direct messaging on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Try something different!

Try scheduling a short initial meeting through zoom or meetup, or introduce yourself in an audio chatroom such as Clubhouse. You can join similar events held in Facebook rooms or on platforms like Eventbrite. By using these spaces, you’ll not only be able to introduce yourself and share your expertise but connect with others in similar fields.

Be Ready to Follow Up

How many relationships would you have if you followed up after an initial meeting? During a meeting, there’s typically an exchange of a preferred method of communication – sometimes social media, cell phone numbers, emails, and even communities. Yet, that’s what the relationship stagnates.

If you genuinely want to build a professional connection, you’ll need to be ready to take the next step and follow up after a few days. Schedule a virtual meeting to talk about similar interests or meet up face-to-face. Make it even easier and have a pre-set time and date to follow-up and schedule meetings after events you’re planning on attending.

Keep in Contact with Current Network Connections

Maintaining your current professional network is just as important as growing it. Referrals are a large part of developing strong relationships, and they come from having a strong relationship with the referrer.

Add a monthly networking lunch or event to your schedule. Pick a few professionals from your network to invite and discuss common interests, current business, and upcoming events. Always make sure to encourage connection via your preferred method of communication afterward to keep the conversation going.

Step Outside Your Area of Expertise

It’s easy to stick to what you know, but it’s holding you back from expanding your network. Only attending networking events in your area of expertise will lead to seeing “familiar faces” in the crowd. While you should remain affluent in your area, exploring outside your comfort zone will teach you new skills and give you new contact opportunities.

Talk with your supervisor about hosting a training event or look for training events and conferences to attend on your own. This will set you up for an opportunity to develop an entirely new professional network in another field.

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

You never know who is going to open the next door or be the connection between where you are and where you want to be. There is no “right person” when it comes to developing a robust professional network.

Take the time to get to know anyone who piques your interest or you theirs. Opportunities are not always obvious from a person’s “cover.”

If you’re ready to start building a better professional network by hosting your own networking event, check out our meeting and event spaces. Not sure what you need? Connect directly with our team at District Offices.


Contact us to discuss your needs, book a tour, or secure the perfect space for your business.


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