10 Tips To Stay Connected To Your Network This Summer

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Summer vacation is not just for students and our children to enjoy.  It’s a time for working professionals to lose their ties, trade-in high-heels for flip-flops, and find as many opportunities to work from a hammock or a beach chair rather than their office.

With the upswing in family vacations and the commitment to unplug from the daily business grind it can be a challenge to nurture the relationships within our professional network, and even seem impossible to gain more meaningful connections this time of year.

As you’re reading this from the beach, a boat, or dock-on-the-bay, enjoy my 10 tips to stay connected and grow your network without skimping on the sun, family fun, and relaxation summer offers us:

1.  Utilize Meetup.com–Traveling to new destinations is a favorite summer pastime for many of us.  Browse meetup.com and see if there are any open business or social networking events you can squeeze into your itinerary.  You never know who you’ll meet that can be an asset to you and your businessor vice versa!

2.  Share Your Personal Life – Whether it’s via email, a newsletter, social media or another form of communication, share the fun summer activities you have planned or are currently enjoying.  Showing a bit of your personal life enhances the human connection with the members of your professional network and is a huge brand-builder.

3.  Show Appreciation–Gone are the days of hand-written notes so it’s the perfect opportunity to pleasantly surprise the people you value.  Use your downtime to personally pen a few heartfelt thank-yous to some of the professional connections that have positively impacted your journey.  The unexpected special delivery will win you points with your supporters.

4.  Amp Up Your Social Networking – When we’re nose to the grindstone and working insane hours it’s a challenge to connect with our social circle.  Take a few minutes while you breath in the rich summer air and reach out to someone you’ve disengaged with, and just say “Hi.”  Then get off social media and enjoy the vibrant long summer day ahead.

5.  Volunteer - Volunteering is a feel-good andsocially responsible activityyou can include your family and friends in, and it’s a great way to meet new people in your community.  It’s important to connect with and support the organizations that are leading the charitable charge where you live and where you conduct business.

6.  Share A Great Read – I don’t know about you, but summertime is when I catch up on my reading, and my list usually includes at least one business book.  If you do the same, then write a review and share the knowledge you glean with your network.For constant learners spreading nuggets of wisdom is always appreciated!

7.  Trade In a Meeting For a Celebration – Packing in personal and social time during the three short months of summer can throw a wrench in our schedules.  It can be hard to regularly show-up to your networking meetings, so cast your scheduled meetings aside and carve out time for a barbeque or social gathering at your favorite brewery or outside venue; somewhere that you can mix business and pleasure while basking in summer glories.

8.  Pump Up Your Professional Development–Finding a conference or seminar that coincides with your travel plans or relaxed work schedule not only puts you with peers you will want to forge relationships with, it also builds business acumen.

9.  Squeeze in 1-to-1 meetings – One of the principles of effective networking is to connect individually with the members of your network in a more relaxed setting.  That can be a tall order if your workweek is sparse of free time.  Leverage your lax summer schedule and put a handful of individual get-togethers on your calendar.

10.  Use The Phone forit’s True Functionality – Texting has eclipsed verbal conversations as our most comfortable and convenient way to communicate.  The slack vibesof summeroffers the opportunity to reignite authentic human connection, and that starts with real-talk with the people we value most.  Flip through your digital Rolodex and spark some meaningful conversations with your comrades!

-Maya Holihan, President, Loyalty Networking

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