Think about this for a moment: Your ultimate success will equate to the average of the people with whom you’re associating.
That means that if half of your professional peer group is highly accomplished, and the other half is unsuccessful and unfocussed, then you’re probably headed for mediocrity, at best.
It’s only natural to rise (or sink) to the level of the people around us; however, there’s no reason we can’t be choosy about whom (and how many) we hang with.
If you’re ready to accept the fact that raising the profile of your peer group will positively affect the level of your professional success, then you’re ready to learn how to take the first steps toward making that happen.
And as you may have already guessed, I’m bringing you the advice you’ll need to get started.
Raise your Professional Network’s Profile
Here are my top tips for advancing your professional network, in order to advance your own personal and/or corporate brand:
- Cut the ties that cause you think small. In business and in life, there will always be those people who prefer to live in mediocrity, and choose to make you feel badly about your own advancement. You see, by tearing you down, they make themselves feel more accomplished. Don’t stand for this. If anyone denies you the pursuit of your dreams, attempts to talk you out of a promotion, or tells you that your vision is impossible, unsuitable or undesirable…without hard evidence to back up their claims…then put distance between them and you.
- Choose acquaintances based on their values. This is the same way you’ll choose your customers, and it works just as well here. If integrity, commitment and amusement top your list of corporate values, then others who share those values will be more likely to support your advancement and to offer you the type of inspiration you need to be successful. Surround yourself with people who know what’s important to themselves and to you.
- Seek out people who will encourage learning. You cannot advance unless you commit to educating yourself—every day and in every situation. Typically, the most successful people are those who commit to lifelong learning, and they’re also the people who can help point you toward advantageous educational opportunities (and support you as you learn). Seminars, speaking engagements and business classes are great places to meet these types of people.
- Connect with people who know and work with your ideal customers. You know your ideal customer; you’ve spent countless hours creating a profile that you can reference when crafting communications for your branding and marketing strategies. That ideal customer knows what he or she wants in a business relationship, and if they’ve already found it with a particular individual (and you have corporate values and goals in common with that individual) there’s a good chance they’ll see the same worth in connecting with you.
- Choose people who know the value of healthy competition. The business man or woman who operates in a vacuum, in fear or hatred of the competition, will never experience the level of success you’re looking for. A solid competitor works on the cutting edge, with the intent of improving his customers’ lives, his relationships within his business network, and the general state of his industry. Keep this in mind as you build your professional network. Not every competitor is a direct competitor—and not every competitor will be bad for your business.
- Look for people who regularly promote others. Who is that business person who has lots of online links to their work? Who is that brand builder who always seems to be touting others’ accomplishments and making recommendations based on their experiences with other brands? This is a person who, if he or she can see value in you and your business, will act as a brand advocate. And by the way: this works both ways. People will be seeking you out based on the same criteria, so be sure to speak highly of other quality brands, make relevant recommendations and share inspiring stories about those whom you respect.
- Aim high. There’s a tendency among brand builders to avoid aiming too high when choosing their professional network. They think they have nothing to offer to successful businesspeople. Or, they simply don’t know how to strike up a conversation with a big name who may seem intimidating…or too busy for chit-chat. This is no longer a viable way of thinking. Today, any size business can operate on a global stage and offer massive amounts of value. Do not undervalue what you have to offer: it could be just the thing your dream connection is searching for.
- Join an established group and let them make the introductions. I have loads of first-hand experience with this one. I run a number of online groups (the How to Build a Brand Facebook group and the Brand Builders Club, to name two) in which I welcome and introduce new members, asking them to tell us all a bit more about what they do, what they offer and whom they serve. This opens a group conversation (amongst globally prominent business owners and entrepreneurs) about what they all have in common and how they can help one another. Add to this the expert advice offered every day, and you’ve got an environment that nurtures professional relationships with high-profile, highly motivated authorities in a variety of industries.
- Open your mind to a mentor. Some people set out to find a mentor for themselves; however, most find one simply by networking with the right people. Upgrading the level of your professional network is a fantastic way to make this happen. When you get out there and strive to meet more people who have more to offer, you never know how educational, and lucrative, the result might be.
I hope these tips have inspired you to move away from negativity, stagnation—and simple mediocrity—within your current professional network. This is your day to make a new connection that will lead to others, and that will result in a network that you can rely upon for support, honest opinions, encouragement, inspiration and cheer-leading.
Feeling a bit shy about getting started? Well, then get over to the How to Build a Brand Facebook group, where you’ll meet lots of purpose-driven entrepreneurs, participate in weekly Brand Breakthroughs live sessions and have access to expert branding and marketing advice on a daily basis. You’ll pick up loads of branding and marketing advice; plus, you’ll be working to build your enhanced professional network. Looking for a bit more? For only £17 for the first month, you can join the Brand Builders Club, the place where freedom-focussed business owners are gathering around and supporting each other in an active, diverse community. Join today and don’t forget to look into the monthly 90-minute mastermind sessions.