How To Build A Strong Professional Community

How To Build A Strong Professional COmmunityAre you part of a professional community?

Don’t translate community to mean social media platform, email list or Slack.

These options allow you to hide behind your computer screen doling out likes and shares.

Rather, I mean organizations, associations and meetups with face-to-face gatherings.
To attend you actually need to leave your office and meet people IRL! 

Even if you consider this old school advice, the reality is:
Most important business gets done face-to-face.

Regardless of where you live, the level of your job, the length of your business career, and/or personal obligations, actively participate in at least one professional community.

Why?
Because actively belonging to a professional community yields measurable benefits.

People with more real life connections have more successful careers. Since their network helps them with information and support that provide career and business opportunities.

Beyond career and financial success, professional organizations improve your sense of self and personal well being.

Let’s examine how you can improve your networking to contribute to your professional community.

Professional Community: Advice From #LinkedinGlobal Speakers

As the presenters for #LinkedinGlobal, the largest LinkedIn Meetup in history, these professionals know ALOT about not only how to network, but also how to work together to create a professional community.

They understand that when they work together as a community they can create something that serves a higher goal than each person’s career and financial well-being.

So they believe in helping others to join them. In part, this translates to offering actionable advice and tips. Also, for some it means traveling to be part of  this event.

 

Michaela AlexisMichaela Alexis (michaelaalexis)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

Look up the event hashtag and find people that are attending, I do this for every big conference I’m speaking at so that I can get to know both the attendees AND the other speakers in advance.

Exchanging even a tweet or DM can make a big difference if you’re a shy person!

I also think it’s important to know where you thrive. I’m a very shy person but I feel confident in a small, casual room. In a large, more formal space? It’s just not my scene and knowing this has been a huge help!

Big Idea:

That crafting your dream career is possible with a heart focused on service and the courage to show up as yourself.

Bragging Rights:

ThinkVideo: Smart Video Marketing and #influencing

 

Joe ApfelbaumJoe Apfelbaum (joeapfelbaum)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

Best networking tip for Shy people is to ACT LIKE A HOST. I remember when I started doing this IT CHANGED MY LIFE!

When you meet someone, ask them who they want to meet, as if THIS is your party. Make intros inside the room. You are never shy if you are the HOST! Acting like the host changes around the entire way of looking at a scary room.

Big Idea:

I want people to realize that LINKEDIN connections are a waste of SPACE and TIME if they are NOT REAL. You need to meet people and build REAL relationships by getting to know them and meeting offline. Most people HOARD connections, stop lurking and start networking! BOOM

Bragging Rights:

I wrote a few books including, High Energy Secrets: How I lost 95 pounds an kept it off. I built one of the fastest growing companies in the US, “Ajax Union” and I started a new business this year called “Social Sellin” and we did not start advertising but we already have hundreds of clients, we are teaching coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs hot to reverse engineer LinkedIn to generate REAL REVENUE in just 15 minutes a day. BOOM

 

Jacob I. BusaniJacob Busani (jacob-i-busani-48628a100)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

12×12×12
How you look from 12 feet away
How you sound from 12 feet away
And the first 12 words you say matter the most

Big Idea:

It’s not about meeting everyone it’s about meeting the right people

Bragging Rights:

The Entrepreneurial Way
A Lesson a day for 30 days will set you on the Entrepreneurial Way

 

Dale DupreeDale Dupree (copierwarrior)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

Walk up to someone and tell them how hard it is for you to do this. Honesty attracts empathy and compassion and helps to break the ice.

Big Idea:

I’m leading a Sales Rebellion against the status quo. I want people to know there are better methods out there than the world of Wall Street/boiler room tactics so many people implement. I want sales people to value people of products, community over commission checks, and to use the principles of curiosity and servant leadership in the way they interact with their prospects and clients.

Bragging Rights:

Book is releasing shortly! Title is – Tales of The Copier Warrior: A Sales Rebellion

 

Judi FoxJudi Fox (judiwfox)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

The BEST tip I have for anyone that is sky or introverted is to look at the social media posts prior to the event and see who is commenting that are attending and try to connect with several people beforehand. You can also ask if you can help out with anything or help set up anything beforehand. That way you are there early and you can ask any of the people running the event if they can introduce you to people that they know so you have warm introductions. (PS – I made a video about this on LinkedIn.

Big Idea:

“What you focus on expands!” – If you give your attention (even 10 minutes a day) to LinkedIn – you will expand your network and increase your online authority.

Bragging Rights:

Hit 3 Million views on LinkedIn in 2018 and sought after as a speaker at Video Marketing World, VidSummit, Social Media Week, and several top 100 podcasts.

 

Meny HoffmanMeny Hoffman (MenyHoffman )

Best Professional Networking Tip:

One thing that will help: be sure you’re engaged in meaningful networking.

Ask yourself the following question: How do I know if the person I’m speaking to is a good potential connection for me?

Is it their industry, their role in their company, the size of their business, the main challenge they face? What characteristics describe your dream connection?

Whatever that answer is, figure it out before you come to LinkedIn Global, so that you spend your time on the conversations that will yield the best results.

And remember, networking is not just about getting; it’s also about giving. So even if they’re not your dream connection, then go ahead and ask them, “Who’s a good potential connection for you?”

Big Idea:

The power of a conversation. It’s the beginning of everything!

Bragging Rights:

Founder of the Let’s Talk Business Platform.

 

Christopher HummelChris Hummel (christopherhummel)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

Tip for shy people – Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Self confidence will come
from networking, learning & doing. You’ll be bad before you are good and good before you are great.

Big Idea:

Anyone can accomplish their goals & dreams if they decide, it is a choice.
Develop a champions mindset;
Have a relentless work ethic;
Never give up!

Bragging Rights:

Founder & CEO of FITTEAM a healthy lifestyle brand that did millions of sales its first year in business

 

Maribel LaraMaribel Lara (maribellara)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

Look for people hanging out at the outskirts of the event and greet them the way that you would like to be greeted. Ask what their interest in the event was and if there’s anyone in particular they are hoping to meet.

Big Idea:

How to look at networking as a series of offers to help people rather than a series of actions that will benefit you.

Bragging Rights:

We just launched The Sasha Group in January of 2019 and we’re on track to hit our goal of $10M in revenue by the end of year one! Follow our growth on LinkedIn.

 

Mark MetryMark Metry (mark-metry)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

Be more interested in others than focusing on what you are going to say and just realize that your best friend at one time was a stranger once upon a time.

Big Idea:

If I did it, you can to in your own way.

Bragging Rights:

Top 100 Podcast, Featured by Forbes 🙂

 

Estie RandEstie Rand (estierand)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

Have something to hand people that operates not only as your cheat sheet for what to say, but can also be a great conversation starter in and of itself. This can be a flyer, promo card or even a cool SWAG item.

Big Idea:

Becoming a LinkedIn Influencer is much easier than people realize and with the current algorithms, it is accessible to anyone with the desire and willingness to invest the time, thought and energy to making it happen.

Bragging Rights:

Built 6-figure business in under 2 years with zero in ad spend.
Former CIO of NLE International, founder of Strand Consulting and host of the Business breakthrough podcast, featured on Nasdaq as a top podcast to listen to in 2019.
Certified professional coach for over 10 years and the winner of Best in LA Business Consultancy 2018.
Host of the LinkedIn Influencer Summit 2019

 

Jake RosenbergJake Rosenberg (thisisjakeme)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

Just be yourself and talk to people. Everyone is there for the same reason as you; to meet new people!

And of course, download your free copy of The Networker Booklet over on our website and we’ll give you our top 20 tips to become a great networker. www.thepowerentrepreneur.com/books

Big Idea:

Our focus at The Power Entrepreneur is to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how the uber-successful around us think and operate.

Bragging Rights:

We’ve interviewed some amazing people, from Bob Knakal in real estate to David Meltzer in personal development. We’ve recently released The Networker Booklet (20 steps to effective networking), and continue to host and co-host some of the greatest business focused events in middle New York.

 

Brian SchulmanBrian Schulman (brianschulman)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

Smile and say “HELLO” or “Hi”

Big Idea:

When you leave LinkedIn Global, you will understand that LinkedIn is so much more than a digital “resume” and a place to look for a job. It’s an engagement platform, a place to build relationships that will last a lifetime. A place you can’t afford not to be showing up!

The power of LinkedIn is simple math. 250M ‘active’ users. 1% creating content. The opportunity to build a community, a loyal tribe, that builds your personal brand and business.

Bragging Rights:

Brian is the founder & CEO of Voice Your Vibe
– Forbes Featured Entrepreneur & LinkedIn Top Voice
– Co Founder of WeForShe Summit, and is a founding member of a number of organizations including Genuine Hero. He serves on a number of Boards and is an Advisor and mentor to start-up founders and companies across the world.
– One of the pioneering Top LinkedIn Video Creators in the world, and a pioneer of the newly launched LinkedInLIVE, Brian is a sought after international speaker and Emcee
– Named One of The Worlds Top Video Marketing Experts

 

Jack ScrivenJack Scriven (zackscriven)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

Create video content!!! 🔥

Big Idea:

How to better help build the community with other LinkedIn professionals and influencers.

Bragging Rights:

I have an online course: Crush LinkedIn Video. Helping professionals get started building their brand with LinkedIn video and crushing their goals.

 

Shmuel SeptimusShmuel Septimus (shmuelsep)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

Don’t ‘work the crowd. Work one on one. Networking is real people to real people. Build meaningful connections one at a time.

Big Idea:

You already have everything you need to be successful. It’s not ‘out there’, so start taking action. Massive action. Every day.

Bragging Rights:

Recent contributing editor to the Dailygrit.com. Here’s a link to my first article.

 

Chantel SoumisChantel Soumis (chantelsoumis)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

I understand this struggle all too well. In fact, this is something I continuously battle within my own community but I’ve found that what helps me most is reaching out to friends or other people that will be attending ahead of time and asking to meet up at the event. This way, it’s just like meeting up with old friends so you’re not in it alone.

Aside from the first challenge of just getting in the door, budding into group discussions is always a good idea to meet others… just slide in and note, “mind if I pop in here?” –in your own words of course! We’re all there to get to know people, so nobody is going to turn you away.

Hey, if you’re shy, reach out to me directly and let’s connect at the event. I’ll introduce you to a few folks and get the ball rollin’!

Big Idea:

It doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like or what your background is, as long as you have a passion and a niche, you can make millions on social media via social selling and content.

I thought I wasn’t unique, in fact, as a disabled professional with chronic illness I never thought anyone would want to hear what I had to say, but I found that I needed to use that to my advantage, as a superpower per se, not as a limitation. That’s when the whole world changed and I cut my medical debt from six figures down to less than six grand in just one year.

Bragging Rights:

Represents the US at international Women of Inspiration Awards, Golden Mic Award Recipient, Voted Woman to Watch, Voted Best in Madison, and more!

 

QuHarrison TerryQuHarrison Terry (quharrison-terry-728b3a89)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

Instead of going in for the full intro just ask everyone you run into the same question.

Big Idea:

That anyone can do this you don’t need to be this demigod to build a network on LinkedIn.

Bragging Rights:

Author of Inevitable/Human Vol. 1

 

Brian WallaceBrian Wallace (nowsourcing)

Best Networking Tip:

Giving yourself permission to allow yourself to start! Many of us already have the knowledge of what needs to be done, yet we are afraid to take the first step and the next action after that.

Big Idea:

I’d like people to get a crystal clear understanding that LinkedIn can be an incredible source of business once you architect a proper personal brand, profile, clarity on why you are there, and then bringing together incredible relationships and business deals through inbound marketing content.

Bragging Rights:

I’m Founder of NowSourcing, the top rated infographic agency in the USA and am on advisory boards for Google Small Business and SXSW.

 

Andrew WangAndy Wang (andywang888)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

Networking starts with one conversation. Don’t be overwhelmed by a big room full of people. Start talking to one person with the goal of having one meaningful conversation and then expand out from there. P.S. Even extroverts say that a big room can be intimidating so we’re all in the same boat.

Big Idea:

Align your money with your values and you can live a richer life, make a greater impact, and make the world a better place.

Bragging Rights:

Andy Wang is a Managing Partner at Runnymede Capital Management and host of Inspired Money, named by Forbes as a Top 10 Personal Finance Podcast By Financial Advisors. He is an INVESTOPEDIA 100 Most Influential Advisor, Top 100 Most Social Financial Advisor by Brightscope, and has appeared on Reuters TV, Barron’s, and Forbes.

 

Joel WolhJoel Wolh (askjoel)

Best Professional Networking Tip:

My best networking tip for shy people: Its hard to go over to people and introduce yourself, so anytime I am at an event I usually present my business card which is an icebreaker. But if your at LinkedIn global, use your surroundings to easily make conversation!! Find common ground!!

Big Idea:

My objective is to help people understand that their biggest objective on LinkedIn is to get known. The more you are known, the more you can gain and leverage that following and audience.

Bragging Rights:

I am the founder of LinkedIn global, the biggest LinkedIn networking event ever! I also have the #askjoel podcast which will be on the top 100 podcast list by the end of this year!

 

Professional Community Conclusion

To grow both personally and professionally, you must look beyond building your network to get your next job or next business deal.

Instead, you need to contribution to a community of professionals aligned for a common goal. To succeed in the long term, this objective must put the needs of others above short term personal needs.

Change your point of view:
Go from thinking “What can I get out of this community, association or organization?” to “How can I help others?”

Yes – I realize that it may be difficult to step out into the public spotlight.

I get it–I grew up being incredibly shy. Even when I got past that, I had real troubles speaking up for myself to network during periods of unemployment.

What did I do?
I enlisted friends and colleagues to help me. They let me practice making networking calls and attended networking events with me. 

How can you do this?
Start small with low objectives and build from there.

Even better attend #LinkedinGlobal–You know you will find friendly faces there!

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and Google+.

 

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Photo Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-african-american-woman-business-businessmen-1056561/ cc zero
Photos of presenters sourced from LinkedIn profiles.

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