With the change in seasons, the venues for networking may change, but not the fundamentals. Consider these five key networking concepts; are you doing them all?
1) Give to Get: Add value to your network by sending magazine clippings, web links, or other materials to them, without asking for anything in return. This concept – making deposits into your network “bank” – allows you to make withdrawals later. Note: if you don’t send things that are valuable to the receiver, then in their eyes, the relationship will have little value.
2) Be the host: Instead of thinking like a “guest” at a networking event, pretend that you are the host, responsible for everyone’s well-being. Introduce people to each other, ask the “real” host if there is something that you can help with, and seek out those who are standing by themselves.
3) Core ten: Too often we focus on supersizing the number of contacts we have, instead of supersizing the quality of the relationships themselves. Determine the ten most strategic network connections you have, and begin the work to strengthen these relationships.
4) Social Network Risks: While the conventional wisdom is to use Social Networks (such as LinkedIn, Plaxo, Twitter, and even Facebook and MySpace) to “search” for jobs or new business, too often our listings can lead to disqualification before we even start. Make sure that unprofessional comments and embarrassing pictures are completely expunged. Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter or a prospect – would they want to meet with you after seeing your profile?
5) Social Networking Marketing: A key benefit of the Social Networks is that they provide visibility to your contact’s connections. Look through these connections, and then ask YOUR contacts to help set up a real-world meeting with specific people that you target.
Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.