5 Most Effective Strategies to Expand Your Forest Business Professional Network
As a professional, working in forest or wood-industry related businesses (henceforth, Forest Business), you should always be trying to expand your network. You never know whom you’ll be able to connect with and where that connection will lead. As relationships become more and more essential to business, successful professionals need to be at the forefront, doing what they can to grow their networks. The right connections can open doors with some amazing opportunities behind them, so here we share five tips to help you grow your Forest Business professional network.
Having a strong personal Brand requires being connected to a network of resources for mutual development and growth. We achieve our greatest success through our relationships with others. That’s why it is critical to build and maintain your network. You have undoubtedly heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” right?
Here are our top 5 ways designed to build a strong network within Forest Business. Try them and be consistent and disciplined with them, and we promise that within 6 months your professional network will expand significantly:
1. Make your presence noticeable – online and offline!
You have to make sure people know what you are doing, and in what particular area of forestry or wood industry you specialize in — otherwise nobody will ever know. Keep in touch with your professional contacts via email, social media and face-to-face meetings. You can even create your blog, where you share your views, insights from conferences you attend, places you visit, people you meet etc. In other words, it is always good to connect with people who share the same passion as you, and who are willing to participate in the discussion.
For instance, you can visit Forest Monitor blog to observe how it works: FOREST MONITOR.
When you maintain contact you remain on their radar, which can result in them name-dropping you to their contacts. A simple, “Oh, I actually know somebody you should contact” can occur simply because you kept your presence noticeable.
One of the ways to mark your presence is to join a group on LinkedIn, and to start taking part in discussions within your area of expertise. People should be aware that if they have any problem, dillema or issue to discuss, they can knock on your doors and get professional advice instantly.
One of such LinkedIn groups is: Forest Business Professionals. It is the networking forum, which focuses on discussions about timberland investments, wood industry and global forest products.
However, being present only online has its drawbacks as well. See point 2.
2. Attend targeted networking events – OFFLINE!
With limited time and resources to spend on networking, it might be tempting to think you can do it all online these days. But meeting business contacts face-to-face at networking events, conferences and exhibitions is important to build trust and develop leads.
Will Kintish, a founder of marketing consultancy Kintish Limited, said:
“You can start business relationships online, but it’s only when people read your body language, smile, and handshake that they really want to do business with you.”
Every industry has conferences and trade shows that provide great networking opportunities. There are also local meet-ups and local organizations that hold regular events that are great for building your network.
Moreover, networking events can be an invaluable means of generating new business leads and keeping up to date with industry developments.
Nevertheless, before deciding which events to go to, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to get out of them. You should think about your objective, budget and how much time you want to spend. For example, your objective might be to find new customers in your target market or emerging markets, new investment opportunities, partners or suppliers in a particular industry etc.
One of such great networking event, within Forest Business area, is coming soon in Poland. The International Forest Business Conference 2018 (IFBC2018) will be organized between 6-8th June 2018 in northern Poland.
Networking opportunities will be in abundance, and the conference will offer a unique opportunity to meet CEOs and senior management of the most influential companies in the industry. Attend this conference for in-depth discussions and analysis on forest products market challenges, opportunities, threats and issues for 2018 and beyond.
Still untli January 1st 2018, you can pre-register for the conference and save 30%! Don’t Wait and Save the Date!
By attending IFBC2018 you will be able to:
- To build relationships
- To keep up-to-date with trends
- To benefit from new ideas
- To connect with key influencers
- To be motivated
- To socialise
- To recruit new employees
3. Don’t always take — give as well.
When networking don’t always make it about you — make sure to share you knowledge and expertise and offer to help when you see an opportunity. Helping other people will often come back to you tenfold. Helping someone is going to give them extra incentive to return the favor.
Being a connector will also help your long-term networking — connecting two people you know who will benefit from knowing each other strengthens your network.
The key takeaway: don’t be selfish and think of how you can help everyone you come in contact with.
4. Never be afraid to ask.
This one is short and sweet — if you want something you can’t be afraid to ask for it.
Want an introduction? Ask for it.
Want a meeting? Ask for it.
Want advice or feedback? Ask for it.
5. Always think about long-term relationships.
Making a connection and exchanging business cards is a foot in the door, but it’s long-term relationships that lead to business deals. Concentrate on forming long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial for both sides. Make a conscious effort to establish a two-way street for all of your professional connections.