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7 Useful Tools To Expand Your Business Network

7 Useful Tools To Expand Your Business Network

Ah yes, the ever-important expansion of your business network question. How do you do it? What are the best ways to network with potential partners, collaborators, and associates these days?

In a constantly evolving world, it’s incredibly important to know how to make connections using the newest and most helpful technology.

If, for instance, this networking conundrum was proposed in the 1990s, the best answer would probably be things like phone calls, business functions, and business cards. Today, these things are terrible for actually making new business connections. No, instead we must turn to our online resource, the internet.

Here are 7 online tools that help expand your business network. Use them wisely.

1. LinkedIn

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    A lot of people still aren’t familiar with LinkedIn and how it works. But then again, these are the people who aren’t making the right business connections. With over 300 million users, LinkedIn is no longer that little-fish social network. It has become the go-to social networking site for all business professionals and is currently the biggest business fish in the social sea!

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    The best way to network with people on LinkedIn is to connect with them, endorse a few things that you know they are good at, and then reach out to them in some small way. Do not pitch them on something, but rather, just message them with a compliment or something similar about something they’ve done that you’ve enjoyed. After building up a bit of a rapport with someone, over a period of time, then you can start to inquire about things and perhaps try working with them.

    2. Twitter

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      Twitter is a personal favorite of mine for connecting with business associates. It’s great because everyone from Richard Branson, to Mitt Romney, to Tim Ferriss is on there. Just about every celebrity, politician, entrepreneur, athlete, or anyone else you could think of is on Twitter. So, in theory, no one is impossible to connect with.

      The average-Joe business man up the street can connect with somebody like Richard Branson on Twitter by using some clever Twitter tactics and saying the right things.

      For instance, if you want to connect with someone (maybe someone a little easier to reach than Branson), the best way to do it is to Follow them, and then start Favoriting and Retweeting their posts. By doing this, over a period of time, you will get their attention. You can then start commenting on their posts, and voila! The next thing you know they’re commenting back and you’ve built up a relationship with someone who can help you out! You can either private message them at this point (if they’ve Followed you back by now), or just ask them in a post thread if you could connect with them beyond Twitter. That’s it!

      3. Podcasting

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        One of the best tools for making connections is creating a podcast. Why podcasting, when we live in a video, in-your-face, visual world you ask? Because radio still rules! People love hearing podcasts and the podcasting industry is growing more and more each year.

        By having a podcast and interviewing people, you can invite all sorts of guests to come on your show. Everyone loves being interviewed and thought of as being special, so many people will typically accept your invitation. By creating a podcast show, you can connect with people in the business-world who would otherwise pass on an invitation to collaborate.

        4. Guest Posting

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          Similar to Podcasting, Guest Posting is such a great way to connect with others. It’s the one, tried-and-true way for bloggers to join forces with one another online.

          Reach out to some of your favorite websites and blogs, and ask them if they’d like to exchange articles with you. You could write them an article that fits their site’s criteria, and they could write an article that fits your site’s criteria, and in turn, you both win! By offering up your service, in the form of a blog post, you are giving them a great incentive to want to work with you and connect.

          5. Facebook

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            Although not as good as LinkedIn or Twitter for connecting with business associates, Facebook still holds a solid place on this list. Especially if you connect with someone’s personal page. Business pages are no good for connecting with. Oftentimes, these pages have way too many followers or people for the person running it (the person you’d like to connect with) to keep track of. A message to a fan page is a message lost.

            Instead, if you can Friend Request someone on their personal page, and you can actually get them to Accept, you are figuratively “In.” Don’t private message them right away, but just like LinkedIn and Twitter, Like some of their posts, Comment, Share, and build up a rapport for a while, and then message them. The message has a far greater chance of being returned if you take your time before sending it!

            6. Email

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              Email is the universal form of contact in today’s world. Almost everyone has an email address. And if someone puts their email address on their website, then you should take that a sign that that they are open to connecting with you. Now, don’t take that to mean you should Spam them with absurd requests. Don’t do that . . . ever!

              No, instead, send a thoughtful, well-planned, and respectful email with your inquiry. Tell them why you are reaching out to them, why they could benefit by working with you, and what you would like them to do if possible. That’s it. Keep it short, respectful, and sweet!

              7. Let’s Lunch

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                This is a really cool app that sets up lunch dates with potential business contacts. It connects with your LinkedIn profile and easily integrates your schedule with the people you’d like to bond with and sets up a scheduled time to meet face-to-face.

                This face-to-face meeting of course is the hands-down best way to really build a relationship with someone, although these days it’s becoming ever-more-difficult to do so. With a helpful little app like Let’s Lunch, however, the old-fashioned way of creating a relationship is being renewed.

                Use these 7 tools right now and start building your business network today. Who knows, you’re next connection could change your life!

                Featured photo credit: Handshake – 2 men via flickr.com

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                Justin Stenstrom

                Nationally-Acclaimed Life Coach

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                Last Updated on January 24, 2020

                10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.

                Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.

                Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:

                • The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
                • The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
                • The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.

                Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.

                Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.

                Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.

                That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.

                1. Begin Your Day with Meditation

                I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.

                Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.

                Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.

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                2. Be Grateful for What You Have

                Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.

                Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,[1]

                “I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”

                3. Smile

                Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?

                Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.[2]

                Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.

                Can you smile again?

                4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

                Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.[3]

                If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.

                This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.

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                Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.

                5. Exercise Daily

                One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.

                Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule.[4] He said,

                ‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’

                He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.

                6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance

                Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.

                Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.

                So how do you manage your time effectively?

                Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;

                “I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.

                And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:[5]

                • Monday – Management
                • Tuesdays – Product
                • Wednesday – Marketing and growth
                • Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
                • Fridays – Culture and recruiting
                • Saturdays – Taking off
                • Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday

                No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.

                7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions

                Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.

                Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.

                Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,[6]

                “What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”

                Be intentional about your daily goals!

                8. Seek Inspiration

                It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.

                A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.

                Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.

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                Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,[7]

                “The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”

                9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence

                I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.[8]

                However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.

                10. Budget and Track Your Spendings

                Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,

                “A small leak sinks a great ship.”

                It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.

                Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.

                The Bottom Line

                Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.

                More About Habits

                Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com

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