How do you rebuild a professional network?
May 16, 2012 1:56 PM Subscribe
Please help me rebuild my professional network.
(Asking for a friend. Her notes follow.)
I'm a woman in my 30s with an MBA. Due to health and childbearing and a desire to focus on my family, my work in my field has been limited for the past 10 years. While I've done some freelancing as a consultant and writer for the past 10 years, I've really been out of the workforce, in many ways, as my focus has been my young family. I do still have a very solid resume. I'd like to increase the amount of freelancing I'm doing. But, to do this, I need to pump up my network.
How do I do that? I need to connect with the kinds of people who would hire me for business consulting. Most of the people I know nowadays are moms who run small businesses (very cottage-y) or parents at my school. I've got a bit of work from some of them, but I need to reconnect with decision makers in the business community. The kind of people who sign off on $3k to $20k consulting contracts. How do I go about meeting them? I feel very out of the loop. I've got excellent marketing tools - websites, business blog, social media, etc. I've got good testimonials and solid references. I've done okay at keeping up connections and I have a decent LinkedIn network of about 500 people. I get approached by clients and have even been in the media many times, but that's all been passive. Many of my connections are just other freelancers and consultants and not likely to send work my way or connect me to the people they want to give *them* work. How do I go up the chain in my professional network, so that I'm not just connecting with other freelancers and consultants? I know I'm in a better position than many other parents returning to the workforce, but I feel that, in many ways, I'm almost starting from scratch. Any resources - books, websites, anecdotes - welcome. Thanks.
tl;dr Semi work-at-home mom with MBA looking to rebuild professional network. Has good references & marketing tools but limited professional network.