There are so many positives to having and maintaining a professional network. It is most effective to use a combination of strategies. For me, I find that once I find a group or organization that I am interested in. I go in person and make the initial connection, like attending a local zumba class or attending a race. Then, I meet tons of people that share the same interest and I share contact information with them. Later, we connect again via social networks and I expand my social circle based on my interests. Eventually those social contacts have become friends, colleagues, and/or business partners. I have learned so much from others and maintaining these connections has proven valuable to me both personally and professionally.