Three ways to connect and engage with your network

Many arrows of different colors connect several people in a communication network

I moved to Australia from the UK 18 months ago, I left my corporate career in December 2016 where I was managing Marketing for Google, Android Pay, and transitioned into running two of my own businesses within nine months. I founded a marketing company and launched the network Triangles to help women test and launch a business idea.

In less than a year, I went from no network in Australia to being lucky enough to take away the Community MVP award at the Australasian Startup Awards. This was only possible due to the incredibly supportive network of the Triangles community. So I want to thank them, and offer some tips on how to build, connect, and engage with your network in a productive way.

1. Deliver Value.
Don’t just spam your network. Provide people with valuable content, such as key tips, with the end reader in mind. Think about what would benefit them.

2. Research the key business and business owners you want to connect with.
Articles, press, and publications. Once you know who you want to connect with and why, then reach out. Don’t just approach someone to pick their brain. Think about what value you can deliver to them and how you can create a win-win.

3. Make a good impression first meeting. Especially if it’s a cold introduction.
Don’t try to sell to someone when you connect with them or meet them. Think about long-term opportunities and synergies that come from a relationship. Listen and take on advice on their area of expertise.

I hope these tips help you go from strength to strength in your journey as an entrepreneur, founder, freelancer or employee.

Holly Stephens, Founder, Triangles – a global network helping women take the first step into entrepreneurship