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  One way to improve your networking skills is to focus on personal branding – the practice of creating a unique image and reputation for yourself in your professional community.
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Networking, when done tactfully, can help you achieve professional success. When you build valuable relationships with others in your industry, you take yourself closer to new opportunities, get the chance to learn about trends and developments and establish your reputation as a thought leader in your field. In this article, we’ll run some proven ways to improve your networking skills with personal branding:

Develop a Clear Brand Message

In order to establish a strong personal brand, you need to have a clear message that communicates your unique value proposition. This can include your areas of expertise, your core values, and your professional goals. A clear brand message expresses your strengths and helps to establish your reputation in your industry—especially if you consistently emphasize it through your communication channels and back it up with your actions.

Build a Professional Portfolio

In today’s digital age, having a professional website or online portfolio is essential for establishing your personal brand. Your website should showcase your work, highlight your achievements, and provide information about your professional background and experience. This will help you establish credibility and showcase your expertise to potential networking contacts. You can always refer them to your online profile or body of work if they want to find out more about you.

Leverage Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for networking and building your personal brand. Use platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to connect with others in your industry, share your insights and expertise, and establish yourself as a thought leader. You can also utilize social media to promote your content and engage with others in your industry.
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Attend Networking Events

Look for conferences, workshops, and networking events in your field and make an effort to attend them. Be sure to bring business cards and be ready to introduce yourself and share your brand message with others. If you’re keen on connecting with high-value individuals in Nigeria’s business space, you should consider attending Connect Nigeria’s, Business Mixer. It’s an event that allows you to meet, glean tips from, and build relationships with entrepreneurs and business executives from across Nigeria’s economic landscape. You can register for this month’s edition of the Business Mixer HERE.

Engage with Others in Your Industry

As we’ve already noted, interacting with other people in your industry gives you a chance to showcase your knowledge of that space. If you provide quality insights to people often enough, you’ll begin to come up in conversations about the go-to personalities in your niche. And that will further improve your networking prospects. Look for opportunities to engage with others online or in person. This can include commenting on blog posts, participating in online discussions, or attending industry meetups.

Be Authentic and Consistent

If you’re going to establish a strong personal brand, you will have to be authentic and consistent in your messaging and interactions with others. Be true to yourself and your values, and strive to maintain consonance in your communication across all of your online and offline interactions. This lets you establish a reputation as a reliable professional in your industry. And that in turn prepares the ground for even more extensive engagement, which will bode well for you.

Join a Community of Businesspeople

Business clubs provide you with a chance to promote your personal brands to other professionals, grow your list of valuable contacts, and reap benefits from doing so. An example is Club Connect, which has executives, top managers, startup founders and stakeholders from across Nigeria’s commercial space as members. Besides getting to interact with leading businesspeople, the club gives you access to a large and growing customer base, business resources, consultations with seasoned experts, and funding for your business. There’s more about Club Connect HERE.
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Final Words

Improved personal branding doesn’t merely set you up to succeed at networking. It also creates a platform upon which you can develop a thriving career. Take the steps we have laid out here to sharpen your networking skills and make them more impactful. Featured Image Source: BrandCrunch NG
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This article was first published on 25th March 2023 and updated on March 27th, 2023 at 9:54 pm


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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