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As a marketing professional, you’ve most likely worked hard to build your network of connections and relationships with people who have helped open doors to new job opportunities.

Networking has always been an important way for marketers to find new opportunities and grow their careers. But as the job market becomes increasingly competitive, it is now more important than ever to build a strong professional network. In fact, 85% of jobs are filled through networking – confirming the power of nurturing meaningful connections.

As experienced marketing headhunters, we often see many professionals abandon their networks when they find a new job. But as soon as they start to look for a new one, they find that it’s a little too late to rekindle these valuable relationships.

Marketing Headhunters Share Networking Tips You Need to Get Ahead

Whether you’re actively seeking a new job opportunity or not, you should consistently strive to nurture your network and keep your relationships fresh. Doing so will make a world of a difference when you’re actually looking for your next opportunity. Or even better, it’ll come to you.

Networking can seem time-consuming and draining. However, just a little bit of consistent effort can prove to be incredibly valuable in the long haul. The right connections can open up new doors for incredible opportunities.

Make sure to keep in touch with your connections and keep them relevant before it’s too late and the bridges are burned. Marketing headhunters share simple ways to nourish, strengthen and build your network to ultimately boost your career forward:

Get (Actively) Involved

Get involved with conferences and networking events that are relevant to your industry. This is a great way to network and meet professionals that may have great insights and connections to help you find your next opportunity.

If you find that your schedule limits you from attending events in person, make sure to get involved in groups online. Take advantage of all of the social networks available. LinkedIn in particular is a great platform for professional networking, as it is home to numerous groups that you can join and contribute to.

Long-Term Relationships for the Win

Networking involves more than just throwing out business cards to everyone you encounter. Anyone can hand a business card out, but forming a long-term relationship is more challenging than it seems. When it comes to networking and establishing long-term connections, quality trumps quantity. It’s okay to be selective to an extent when it comes to who you build relationships with.

Always try to pursue a long-term relationship with those connections you meet and think are valuable. Building genuine connections and long-term relationships with key people will prove its value down the road.

Your LinkedIn Is a Valuable Asset

LinkedIn is the go-to platform for marketing search firms and employers when they’re recruiting for talent. Even if you aren’t actively looking for a job, be aware that people are still able to land on your page and examine your professionalism and expertise.

You want to make yourself noticeable and appealing for any possible opportunities. Keep your professional background, profile image, and any recent projects you’ve worked on updated. Adding life to your LinkedIn page with content and up-to-date information will help keep you fresh in people’s minds.

Don’t Undervalue Person-to-Person Interactions

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Growing your network starts in your own office or workplace. Invite your coworkers for some coffee or for a quick lunch. Use this opportunity to get to know them and initiate a beneficial relationship with them.

Reach out to people from past jobs and catch up with them in person to keep these relationships going. People you have previously worked with can be used as a great resource for referrals for future opportunities.

Don’t underestimate the value of meeting with people in person. Real life engagements and interactions truly make a difference and can make a great impact on the dynamic of your relationships.

Lend a Helping Hand

When building mutually beneficial relationships, it should be a two-way street. If you’re inclined to ask for favors, be willing to help others out as well. Lending a helping hand will encourage others to return the favor.

Simply put, don’t make it all about you when networking. Be active on your professional networks by interacting with and responding to content posted by your connections. Congratulate people on new jobs and engage with them in a positive manner. This will help establish yourself as a professional who’s supportive and happy to help others.

Don’t Overlook Your Personal Life

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Some of your best connections are found when you’re doing something outside of work. Delve into your hobbies and personal activities you enjoy. This can prove to be a great way to connect with people you have common ground with, while fulfilling your personal life at the same time.

Whether it’s a yoga class or a book club, you can encounter people who may surprise you to be valuable connections.

Don’t be Afraid to Reach Out

If you’re proactively taking control of your career and network, don’t hesitate in reaching out and asking other people to help you make connections or for referrals.

A friendly message on LinkedIn can help you become acquainted with someone that could possibly refer you in the future. As long as it’s done in a tasteful manner, you have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain. However, don’t use this as an excuse to spam potential connections – this is a quick way to turn them off.

Conclusion

Marketing search firms recognize that networking requires constant energy and attention. It should indeed be something you are always working on as a marketer because a wide network of valuable connections can truly pay off in the long run.

Continue to establish your credibility as a marketing expert by building meaningful relationships and becoming well-connected in your industry. A conscientious effort in nourishing and building your networking can potentially help you land your dream job in the near future.