Client networks - why they’re important, and how to build one
Client networks can be game-changing for a contractor’s professional success. Here’s how to build one and effectively increase your pool of opportunities.
Have you ever heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”?
While what you know is a huge factor in securing new projects, having a vast professional network certainly doesn’t hurt. Case in point, an overwhelming 80% of professionals believe that networking is vital for progressing in your career.
But just why is it so important to have a professional network? And if you’re new to the world of networking, how do you get started? Let’s take a look.
Why you need a client network
Client networks benefit engineers and technical professionals in 3 clear ways:
1. Expand your client base.
The most obvious benefit of networking is that you expand your base of clients who could potentially hire you for roles. Not only that, but by cultivating a reputation for excellence, professionals in your network may recommend you to clients seeking services just like yours.
2. Stay on top of trends.
Being on your A-game is key to winning large contracts, and staying up to date with industry news is a simple way to stand out from the crowd. By creating a professional network with knowledge and insights, you’ll broaden your expertise, helping you land new opportunities.
3. Build a reputation.
In the world of contractors, word-of-mouth recommendations go a long way. By building a professional network of clients that trust your ability to produce results, you’ll cement your status as an industry leader.
How to build a client network
If you want to create a client network but don’t know where to start, try putting these tips into action.
1. Attend professional networking events.
One of the easiest ways to create a professional network while also building your confidence is by attending networking events in your industry. Come armed with business cards and a good elevator pitch to introduce yourself to prospective clients.
2. Reach out on social media.
Nowadays, social media is used for more than just connecting with family and friends. Professionals are increasingly finding jobs on LinkedIn, while local Facebook groups allow contractors and freelancers to find each other and collaborate on projects.
3. Work from co-working spaces.
When you’re working on a project remotely, hot desking at a co-working space is an excellent way to get to know professionals in your local area.
4. Join online networks.
In a world where remote working is increasingly common, attending virtual networking events can be just as valuable as meeting people in person. Use the online business community to make new connections, keep on top of industry insights, and find events to benefit your career.
5. Keep in touch with previous clients.
The most straightforward way to build a client network is by making a good impression on previous clients and keeping hold of their contact details for future projects. That way, you don’t have to win them over with a pitch - they’ve already seen the proof in the pudding.
Making professional connections whenever you have the chance is a must for progressing your career. By cultivating a reputation for excellence, you’ll increase your chances of finding job opportunities and winning lucrative contracts.
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