Q: What is the best way to increase the size of my network? How can I get myself and my brand in front of people?
–Christina Montgomery, FL
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council, an advocacy group founded by serial entrepreneur Scott Gerber that works to take action against youth unemployment by teaching young people how to build successful companies. The council’s members include Generation Y entrepreneurs and experts in a variety of fields.
A: Attend Events
Attend as many networking events and relevant panels/speakers as you can — you never know whom you might meet. Make sure to put yourself out there when you’re at these events, not just watch and listen. Get people’s business cards and follow up with every single one of them afterwards — they will likely lead to new connections. Also, look for start-up events where you can apply to demo.
–Stephanie Kaplan (@stephaniekaplan), co-founder of HerCampus.com
A: Get Out Of Your House
First, figure out what kind of network you want to build: do you want to meet other entrepreneurs? Marketing thought leaders? Fellow kayak enthusiasts? Then, go to your college alumni e-mail list or even Craigslist, and see whether there are any meet ups in your area. If there are none, think about starting your own group and posting to your college list/Craigslist. Get out there and mingle!
–Eric Bahn (@beatthegmat), founder of beat the gmat
A: Go Out There
The answer to your question is in your question itself — ‘get myself and my brand in front of people’. Seriously, go out there, attend conferences, go to networking events, shake hands, kiss babies, be online (facebook, twitter, linkedin, youtube etc)… Be personable, mannered, warm, helpful, resourceful, sharp, & street smart but most importantly, be consistent, build a brand!
–Devesh Dwivedi (@Break9to5Jail), founder or EntrepreneurInMaking.com
A: Carry Your Brand Everywhere
Make sure that you have business cards with your logo on them with you at all times. Wear a t-shirt with the logo on it. It’s easy and when someone glances at the shirt it opens the door for you to tell them about it. Being out and about you may find customers, future contacts, employees and who knows maybe even someone who might want to work with you. People get to see the brand face to face.
–Ashley Bodi (@businessbeware), co-founder of Business Beware
A: Tap Social Media For Personal Branding
The best way to increase the size of your network is to create and enhance your personal brand in digital communities. Personal branding is critical for gaining brand equity in social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN. Increase your network by sharing relevant content and always striving to add value to the conversation. People will naturally be intrigued and want to follow you.
–Kris Ruby (@sparklingruby), founder of Ruby Media Group
A: Network In Your Network
The best way to meet new cool people is through a personal introduction from someone already in your network.
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