Aakash Patel, Founder and President of Elevate, Inc., presented ‘Effectively Building Your Network’ to the talented Collegiate Leadership Board of the Tampa Bay Chamber. Juniors and seniors from Saint Leo University, the University of South Florida, and the University of Tampa were able to learn and discuss how to effectively network during an unforeseen time.
As an entrepreneur and prominent figure within the Tampa Bay community, Patel was able to share his own personal experience with networking before and after he started Elevate, Inc. One of the most important things a person can do as a young entrepreneur or businessman/businesswoman is join a professional networking group and start connecting on social media. This will not only drastically increase someone’s contact list but will also increase the probability of meeting your next boss or a connection that will introduce you to your next boss. As Patel said, “Your next boss is a friend of a friend you have right now.”
When networking in such a large community, it is important to stand out and be prepared for whatever comes your way. Patel discussed many tips to prepare these students on how to make their time worth it when meeting professional people. One of the most important tips is to be proactive. The people you are meeting want to know that you are interested in getting to know more about them and do not want this to be a one-time conversation, so it is essential to follow-up with every contact. Patel explained that it is important to remember things that stood out when meeting new contacts and include that in the follow-up email to let the contact know that you were invested in the conversation.
Networking post COVID-19 has increased the use of social media for professionals everywhere. Patel discussed goals that every professional businessperson should have for their social media. Some of these goals include posting relevant content daily, stay up-to-date with current trends and news being shared, make 10 connections each week and reach out. While networking has changed during this time, social media will always be an essential outlet to meeting people all over the Tampa Bay community (and communities everywhere). Stay relevant, engage daily with your followers, and reach out to professionals that can help expand your network.
Categorized in: Work
This post was written by Elevate, Inc.