As a consultant, your ability to network is essential to your success. While any connection can turn into a lead, making long-lasting connections is essential to your professional growth. Here are just a few ways you can make meaningful connections more often.

Ask Questions

No matter how long you have been on your current career path, there is still more to learn. When you meet someone new, ask questions and listen to their answers. Showing an interest in them will help you make a good impression, and you may learn more about your own career in the process.

Get Out of the Office

Take time each week to visit other organizations or go to the museum, a cafe, or an art gallery. Go anyplace that has the potential to stir your imagination and expose you to new people. This is the best way to expand your network of connections and broaden your horizons as you will meet others in various fields with different interests. A diverse network is especially beneficial today.

Stay in Touch

Expanding your network of connections isn’t just about meeting new people; it’s also about maintaining the connections you have made in past employment positions. Even co-workers you knew from the jobs you had before you became a consultant are worth knowing now. Those former colleagues may need your services in the future, or they may introduce you to others who also need your services. Former coworkers may also prove to be valuable resources for your clients depending on their expertise.

Get Connected Online

Facebook and LinkedIn are some of the best sites for connecting with others from a broad range of career fields and interests. You can find out about virtual events or live conventions where you can meet other professionals. When you maintain online connections, you’ll be able to keep in contact with many more people who may need your services one day in the future.

Of course, the best way to grow your network of connections is to make yourself more visible. You can do this online with blog posts and webinars, or you can sign up to appear at live events in person. By establishing yourself as a professional in the public eye, you’ll expand your reach. Creating a high public profile will help you establish yourself as the “go-to” person in your field, helping you to grow your business faster.