On a recent air flight to London, rather than watch the latest movies, I decided to watch some documentaries including one about the power of networking. It was a very interesting series. Some of what I share here is from that documentary and some from my personal experience of networking.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
When you hear the word networking, you may assume it means meeting lots of people and gaining as many contacts as possible. But have you noticed that nothing positive comes from such a tactic apart from having a list of names and business cards of people you can’t remember.
Networking when conducted properly can be a very beneficial experience for all involved. Networking is a two way street. It is a way of getting to know another person better and finding ways that you can help each other. It does requires commitment to keep up the relationships, once a connection is established.
Below are tactics that will work.
BUILD MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS
At events make introductions with others. Ask them about themselves. Always be interested in what you can give and not what you can get. Once you have connected set aside time for one on one meetings. It is better to seek one or two people at events rather than try to connect with everyone in the room.
BE A PEOPLE’s PERSON
People are drawn to others who come across as positive, confident and interesting. Make sure you project these attributes in order to attract the right networks. Your positive attributes will help you get better and lasting results.
THE ART OF GIVING BACK
If you network with the intention of getting, you will not be successful at networking. Change your mindset about networking with no strings attached. Think about how you can help others with things they care about. Invite new contacts to events you are already attending or share valuable information that might interest them, like this blog post (wink)
HOW TO HOST YOUR OWN NETWORKING EVENT
At my High Impact Business Workshops, we deliberately make time for participants to find out more about each other and exchange business cards. I have witnessed friendships and business collaborations develop from such exchange. For your events, determine what type of event to hold. Choose who to invite. Decide the event structure. Find a time for everyone to introduce themselves.
HOW TO NETWORK THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
Another way to network is to make connections through social media. You can do this in several ways such as send a request friend request or follow the network. Comment on their updates, Retweet posts, Share their new stories. Write congratulatory posts. Develop the connections but don’t be a stalker.
Speaking from personal experience, I have met interesting people, developed great partnerships and had some amazing business contacts through networking. If it can work for me, it can surely work for you.
I hope these points help. Thanks for stopping by and please share your experience in the comment box. Has networking worked for you or has it been a nightmare?
Photo Credit: Majestically Rare High Impact Workshops. Watch out for dates in September.
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