How to Nurture and Grow Your Professional Network
15 February 2023
Paul Appleby from learning and development specialists and GC Business Growth Hub partner InPD explains how to nurture and grow your professional network effectively.
In this article, we will explore how you can effectively grow your professional network. Growing your professional network has never been easier, especially with the prolific use of social media channels, specifically LinkedIn.
Share Content and Connect on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a social hub of business professionals and is also the world's largest online professional network. Therefore it is a good tool to utilise to start expanding your professional network. To start, try connecting with friends and colleagues, and see who they have connected with in relevant fields. It is also worth requesting to join relevant professional groups relevant to your job title or industry. In these groups you can learn about your industry, and meet new professionals who operate within the same sector or similar sectors. However it is important to not only connect with professionals and view content. In order to effectively grow your professional network, you need to share content on LinkedIn. Posting about subjects relevant to your role, writing and sharing a short blog, and sharing company updates are a good way to encourage people to engage with your profile and to connect with you.
Keep Your Profile Up to Date
In today’s ever-evolving job market, it is easy to move into new roles and to forget about updating your LinkedIn profile. However, in order to successfully grow your professional network, you need to keep your profile up to date with new jobs to help your network to keep in touch with you. When you move into a new role or if you move into a new sector, by updating your LinkedIn account your professional network can congratulate you and it may prompt new conversations and new connections as a result.
"In Professional Development exists to challenge traditional learning by enabling professionals to access transformational, real-world training.
A key part of being an effective executive in the modern economy is building a robust professional network and, in this blog, our contributor Paul Appleby discusses tools and techniques to achieving this."
Mike Johnson, Senior Executive Education Consultant of In Professional Development
Show Support to Your Network
In order to successfully nurture and grow your professional network, it is important to show that you care and support your professional network. It is easy on LinkedIn to focus only on yourself and on showcasing your own achievements. In order to nurture and grow your professional network, you need to show that you are worth connecting with. Regularly congratulating your network on posts about their new jobs, promotions, new qualifications and their posts about their achievements at work are vital ways to show support to your network, and in doing so it encourages others to connect with you and to show you the same level of support.
Attend Face-to-Face Training Courses
Virtual networking opportunities such as LinkedIn are a vital way to grow your professional network, however in person networking opportunities are essential for nurturing and growing your professional network. There is not a substitute for face-to-face interaction and meeting professionals in person. One of the best ways to meet professionals in your sector or in related fields is to attend a professional training course in person. In Professional Development’s face-to-face training courses offer a perfect opportunity to learn new skills and gain qualifications while also taking advantage of a prime networking opportunity. Our courses feature breakout groups, networking mixers and group learning and activities. In our post-event feedback, our courses are regularly praised as being a prime networking opportunity, and many of our learners stay in touch with each other and with the course tutor after the course has ended.
Attend Networking Events and Mixers
Networking events and mixers are prime opportunities to meet other professionals. Core business industries such as finance, marketing and sales have many networking events and conventions that are perfect opportunities for expanding your professional network within your industry. Looking out for upcoming event dates on LinkedIn groups, upcoming conferences at venues, and upcoming webinars are an excellent way to find effective networking opportunities for you to meet other professionals within your industry and to expand your professional network.
"Mentoring is a great way to connect to expand skills, develop leadership, assist with succession planning and connect with others for both the mentor and the mentee. It is a mutually beneficial relationship which helps to expand networks."
Adele Cope, Mentoring Relationship Specialist, People, Skills & Talent of Business Growth Hub
Delivered by GC Business Growth Hub in partnership with Greater Manchester’s university business schools, the Greater Manchester Leadership Hive brings together the best leadership and management training the region can offer, all in one place.
From executive and workforce development to mentoring programmes and support with sustainability and inclusivity, the Hive gives small business leaders everything they need to run their businesses as effectively as possible.
For more advice and to view all programmes available to you.
In Professional Development exists to provide you with leadership, management and business skills training required to remain effective in the modern economy. Our courses offer a unique blend, bridging the gap between academic rigour and the business community. We run professional training courses validated by our partners; the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), The University of Chester, The University of East London and the University of York. Accessible and hosted by a team of industry leading facilitators, our programmes deliver tangible benefits for when you return to the office as a more efficient executive.
Whether you’re looking for a qualification for your CV, reassurance of best practice, or a light-bulb-moment, our training will deliver for you.
This article was originally published by the GM Leadership Hive: GM Leadership Hive | How to Nurture and Grow Your Professional Network | 5 Actionable Tips to Boost Your Network
This article was written solely by the identified authors and/or organisations. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and/or organisation – not those of the #HereForBusiness campaign or GC Business Growth Hub.