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What's the secret to being a successful networker? Well, we all know how important it is to balance the online and offline networking and connecting what we are doing now. RELATED: The Jimmy Fallon Effect: 10 Qualities Of Great Networkers We can’t only live online, or offline anymore. Each one is mutually interdependent and inter-related. They work so well in tandem. Both have their importance, purpose and value. We know being “online” is simply smart and essential because that is where people converge, gather and interact. But, “offline” is where the true personal connections are made to explore the mutuality and develop the relationship. If you are not in physical proximity with someone, what are some of the ways and things you can do to accelerate relationship building? Are you meeting, picking up the phone or Skyping regularly when you make new social friends?


How To Be A Successful Networker

Here are nine things you can do that will help you develop some warm connections, stand out, and be remembered.

1. Share Your Passion, Authenticity, And Story

People really connect with your real side and everyone has a story. It’s the new “elevator pitch.”

2. Target Your Audience

Learn about the community where you are meeting. Research and find out about them on websites, blogs and through others that may know about them, or are members of the group.

3. Know The Guest List

When you know some specific people that will be there, that you will want to meet, do your homework and find out about them. Company, awards, community activity, accomplishments. This is great fodder for conversation. How would you feel when someone you didn’t know yet, approaches you and says, “I loved the blog post you wrote on how to be a Mom and grow a business”? It certainly says something to me about them.

4. Work The Room

Mix and mingle, and try to have several warm interactions. Don’t monopolize or be monopolized. Engage and encourage mutual conversation and include others into it.

5. Pair Up With A Mentor

Find someone who knows the crowd and group and rely on them to introduce you around. Coming with someone others know and respect says something about you. “You are judged by the company you keep,” is the quote isn’t it?

6. Set Goals

Have goals for what you want to accomplish and come out of the experience with: five warm connections, new friends, someone you can refer business to.

7. Be Inclusive

Be inclusive and see how making connections for others makes sense both at the event and after. I have been amazed at how encouraging commonality and synergy can work with complimentary businesses.

8. Ask HCIHY (How Can I Help You?)

This is the new benchmark for networking. Not what can I sell you, but how can I serve you. “Serving is the new Selling.” When people know you are in it for the right reasons and motives, the relationship naturally grows. Building trust, by freely sharing knowledge and being who you say you are takes time. Invest and commit to it with people you feel good potential with and demonstrate a mutuality with you.

9. Follow Up

Follow up promptly and with purpose with those warm connections you made. Lunch, coffee, guest blog, mentor, referral, Skype, phone call, collaboration, link swap are only a few reasons to reach out and continue. Relationships take time, effort and commitment. Some grow, some go, but you won’t know which until you take the actions. Networking is a natural extension of all our interactions and communications today. We are pretty much networking all the time now aren’t we? What are some of the successful ways you have used in your networking? This post was originally published on an earlier date. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.


All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.

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