One of our team members met one of her most admired business mentor at a conference recently. She had a chance to converse with this person about making professional connections. After returning home, she shared what she learned about designing a successful networking strategy with the Bear Claw Events team. We present these items below in three essential elements. 1. Branch Out to Other Industries Networking within your is not effective for finding new customers. You will be among competitors who are unlikely to retain your services or purchase your product. Outside your industry, there are potential customers and a new audience to learn about your passion. Take some time to get to know them and you may receive a profitable inquiry one day. 2. Develop Social Media Ninety percent of businesses use social media but only 42% find it valuable. Making social media work for you means developing and maintaining it. Do not neglect your feed; try to present even a brief item every other day. Accept your friend requests and reach out to others to follow you. Social media is a high-exposure low-cost tool. Learn to use it to your best advantage by either taking classes or hiring an expert. 3. Preserve Connections Whether you connect with someone online or at an event, keep in contact. Do not push yourself on anyone as that can make them avoid you. Instead, build the relationship by checking in once a quarter and sending information that may interest that individual. Prove your value and the connection will grow into opportunities. These elements combine the best of face-to-face and online connecting. Both are necessary in the modern world where time and space often limits personal interaction. Keep you online presence appropriate and your in-person image professional. You will likely find customers and gain valuable guidance.