2. Join industry
organizations: There are many professional
organizations for people in the construction industry, such as the
National Association of Home Builders, the Associated General
Contractors of America, and the Construction Management Association
of America. Joining one of these organizations can give you access
to networking events and other resources and benefits.
3. Connect on social
media: LinkedIn is an excellent platform for
connecting with other professionals in your industry. You can also
join LinkedIn groups related to construction and participate in
discussions to connect with others.
Podcasts are popular now, so you should consider creating one
for your niche audience. Regarding networking, though, a podcast
can introduce your personality to relevant experts. Getting an
interview might be your priority, but you can get better results if
they are tempted to contact you directly. Discussing important
industry news and updates will be attractive to industry leaders
who are passionate about their niche.
An interview will give you direct contact with an expert,
allowing you to make an impression and promote their brand. You
might not get every consultation you desire, but most experts seek
ways to promote themselves and will oblige. If you can approach
them with a credible website, there is a good chance you can get
some of their time.
Social media is perfect for networking, mainly when people are
open to communicating directly. If you find an active expert in
your niche, respond to their questions or comments. By making good
contributions, you will quickly be noticed.
4. Attend local business
events: Many cities have local chambers of commerce
or other business organizations that hold networking events. These
can be a great way to meet other professionals in your area and
5. Volunteer or get
involved in your community: Volunteering for a
local charity or community organization can connect you with other
professionals who share your values and interests. This can be a
great way to make connections and build relationships.
When you get a chance, volunteer at your kid's school (or a
local school if you don't have children of your own). They may need
to make props for a school play or a quick paint job. This will
open doors for you to meet parents and teachers who might need home
service repair or remodeling.
Remember, networking is about building relationships, not just
collecting business cards. Be genuine, be interested in others, and
follow up with people after you meet them to continue the
There are all kinds of groups dedicated to networking. Some
are highly structured with performance requirements, exclusive
membership, and the payment of dues. Others are free form, come as
you please, and no charge.
Not every group is suitable for every kind of business. You
will find that some groups may not have connections in the market
you are seeking to attract. You will find that some groups have
rules that just don't fit with how your business works.
Yet one factor is often overlooked when considering a
networking group: does this group offer more long-term or
When focusing on short-term value, you see each group member
only as a prospect. This limits the business potential of the group
because you can't reach beyond the people in the room. If there are
only 50 members, and 25 of them fit your prospect profile, what do
you do once you have presented to all 25? You can either quit that
group to start all over again with another group, or you can take a
long-term value approach.
The long-term value of networking groups lies in building
strong trusting relationships that will give you influence beyond
the people in your immediate group.
If you are like most people, you are already pretty clear
about what you need. You may not be clear on what your business
connections need. Do you know anyone who is a good prospect for
them? Can you recommend or offer services that will help them? Find
out what your contacts need and act to fulfill those needs.
Stop looking at every person in your networking group as a
potential sale. Especially early on, be more concerned about what
you can give than what you can get from these meetings.
Give materially by sponsoring group events, donating to
fundraising efforts, or bringing in some bagels for the meeting.
Give your time and effort by contributing to a service position, or
be free with great ideas and a welcoming smile.
Especially give liberally by helping others make valuable
connections. If you can help one of your group members by
introducing yourself, do it. If you are generous, the effort will
come back to you.
People seek out people they can trust. Cultivating trust takes
time and effort, but is worth it. When it comes to business, trust
is based on three factors:
Value – do you consistently bring value to the
Dependability – are you the real deal? Can you be depended
Consistency – are you consistent over time? It is harder to
develop trust if you are an occasional participant or just passing
Hold regular one-on-one meetings with group members. Get to
know them, and they will get to know you.
Networking groups provide valuable business allies who can
open doors and remove obstacles. Cultivate relationships instead of
just asking for sales appointments. Because strong relationships
build strong businesses over the long term, this is the most
valuable approach to networking.
By implementing these methods, networking will become far more
accessible. One of the problems with networking is the effort it
can take for no results, but these methods all involve adding
value. When an expert can see that you are being helpful first,
making a connection becomes smoother. All it requires is a
few people with a reputation to support you, with this social proof
adding to your status.
We offer free resources
help you save time and money that you can download and print
Sharie DeHart, QPA, co-founded Business
Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the
leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and
accounting services companies and cash management accounting for
small construction companies across the USA. She encourages
Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on
their tax obligations and offers insights on managing the remaining
cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and
profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770