Networking can be daunting, meeting new people even more. But it is essential to grow both, professionally and personally! With the right strategy and planning, your networking efforts can yield to good results.

Here are some things that we think you should keep in mind:

a) Identify. Plan.

Identify what is the kind of network you want to build – Industry, Type of Professionals, Degree of Connection. Plan out the people you would like to connect with you and how can they contribute in your growth, and vice versa.

b) Connect with an objective

Always send a personalized note while sending a LinkedIn invite to someone. It is important for the person to know the reason why you’d like to connect with them.

c) Make genuine connections

Good networking is about building real personal connections. It has to be a two-way street – you help and contribute for someone else to spare time to help you. It is about being authentic, friendly and open. Never dismiss anyone as unimportant.

d) Preparation is key

Do your due diligence on who all be attending an event or who will you be meeting. People are always impressed when you know something about them, and it sets the foundation for a positive, lasting connection. You should also be ready with an ‘elevator pitch’ or ‘what do you do’.

e) Think People and not their positions

Always think about people and trying to build equity early. Someone might move from one job to the other, but the relationship stays. Invest in people in today and see the return over time.

f) Make your development a priority

It’s important to commit to networking as an investment in yourself and your career. Effective networking requires you to be active and social in order to build long-lasting relationships.