Everyone knows the expression ‘it’s not about what you know, but Who you know,” meaning success is much more likely if you have connections and know other people who can help you progress toward your goals.
The power of influencer networks for education and small businesses
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, learning how to leverage your available networks is as crucial as ever. Connections and influence are vital currencies in the digital age, confirms research by data scientists Academic Influence.
The research has been collected in an educational infographic by design agency Nowsourcing and it is interesting reading for anyone who wants to climb the ladder to success.
The benefits of alumni networks
The survey found that 98% of Fortune 500 companies have some form of alumni program, which has numerous benefits. These networking opportunities with established professionals can assist with career changes and promotions, and help entrepreneurs find the right candidate for their business. Alumni networks also provide access to exclusive job opportunities and free resources, as well as informative interviews and resume reviews.
Academic Influence found that investing in lifelong relationships also yields measurable benefits, such as 2.8x higher sales per employee and 4.5x higher product innovation. Companies that actively engage alumni also see a 44% increase in net new customers, with an engaged alumni driving a 10% increase in brand sentiment.
It was also found that investors are more likely to invest in startups founded by someone from their alma mater.
How to leverage an alumni network
Academic Influence also uses the infographic to provide advice on leveraging your alumni network, starting with keeping your alumni magazine’s class notes column updated with any startups or career changes. Volunteering for a committee position can help you reconnect with classmates, and you can attend alumni events and even share your own professional expertise.
Contacting an alum directly should be done via email or LinkedIn, with an accurate explanation of who you are, how you got their contact information, and why you’re contacting them.
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