One great way to expand your network is to volunteer for a cause. It’s common for conversations at volunteer board meetings to turn to professional topics where you can demonstrate your assets to individuals who may need your services or know someone who does. By working alongside them, you earn the trust of an entirely new set of contacts. An added benefit is that the leads from these impromptu conversations tend to be of higher quality, mainly because these folks know you, so at least a portion of their due diligence is already complete. Furthermore, it’s less likely that they’re just kicking tires, especially if you’ve had an in-depth conversation about the project at hand. Board work coupled with participation in social media groups that align with your business goals can establish you as a go-to resource in your industry. By commenting intelligently on trending topics and broadcasting your professional updates within those networks, you can remind everyone of your value-add.
Of course, not every conversation is going to present an opportunity, but nurturing relationships over time can lead to someone contacting you over someone else based on the value that you were able to demonstrate before the need for your services was even identified.