While summer is thought of as the time for beach vacations, sunshine and spending time outdoors, it can also be the season to up your networking.

Even with enjoying the summer months, you can easily be making more connections. Jennifer Robinson offers three easy ways to network this summer.

  1. Invite a new connection out. Schedule a coffee or brunch. Invite someone to a gathering at your home. Invite someone to volunteer with you. Invite someone to check out a happening in your city/town. Even just invite someone to take a walk with you. Choose someone you have been meaning to get to know better. Also, long weekends are a great way to get to know someone on a more personal level in a non-traditional environment. This is usually where people are their most authentic selves anyway! They are out of “work mode” and are more relaxed.
  2. Use downtime to connect. Take an early-morning hour over the weekend to reach out and connect with new people online, or use the time to reach out and see how established contacts are doing, write an unsolicited recommendation or testimonial for someone, or make a few virtual introductions with people in your network you think would benefit from knowing each other. You can also make a list of people you have a goal of meeting as inspiration to grow your network or your business.
  3. Make the most of your family barbecue. Sure, Aunt Ida knows you are looking for clients, but have you really relayed to her the type of people or connections that might be helpful to you? If you have your own business already, bring your cards, brochures to the barbecue to give out to family and friends. Who better to help spread the word for you? If you are so inclined, ask attendees to bring a new friend with them to the event. More than likely, some family members will show up with uninvited guests anyway. The more the merrier, right? Use these opportunities to get to know people and share what you are looking for. You never know who they know. But don’t break out in a sales pitch at a barbecue. Ever. People are there to have fun, relax and enjoy.