Networking is still the best way to wiggle your way into a life-changing opportunity. Are you networking as much as you should? And, more importantly, are you doing it right?
In order to be an effective networker, you need to build valuable relationships – not only with people in YOUR industry, but also with people in a variety of different industries.
Why is super-connecting important? Because, by setting your connections up with other connections, you will build your reputation as a helpful contact who’s focused on giving, not just taking. Your network will remember how helpful you were and repay you with introductions back. It’s almost like a networking “investment.”
Want to be a great super-connector? Here are a few tips.
1. Head To A Networking Event
Whether you go to an in-person professional event in your area, or you attend a virtual networking event, make an effort to go to events at least a couple of times a month. Even better: mix it up and go to both in-person and virtual networking events so you can meet both local and global people.
2. Offer Instead Of Ask
Instead of saying, “What can you do for me?” Say, “What can I do for you?” In order to be an invaluable connection, you have to offer value. People will remember your generosity and want to return the favor in the future.
3. Be Generous, But Don’t Sell Out Your Network
Yes, you want to be generous with your network, but at the same time, you don’t want to offer it just anybody. Your network trusts you to screen connections to make sure they don’t waste each other’s time. Your recommendations affect your reputation. If you hook people up with too many bad connections, it’s going to reflect poorly on you, and others won’t trust you as much with their network.
4. Facilitate Conversation
When you introduce connections with each other, briefly give some background on their goals. Before an introduction, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is this person?
- What do they want to achieve?
- Why would these two people benefit from each other?
- What are some commonalities between these two connections?
You can this of this as your branding statement for your connections. What are the most important things people should know about this person? Why? What can you say to trigger conversation between the two connections?
For example, you could say something like this:
“This is Sally – she’s interested in playing a bigger part of the environmental movement and, since you’re an active volunteer, I thought you two would like to meet and collaborate somehow.”
The key is to keep it brief. Your connections are supposed to be doing the talking, not you!
5. Follow Up
Follow up with your connections and see how things played out for them. You don’t have to send a novel; all you have to do is casually mention the connection in conversation. You could say something like, “Oh, by the way, how did things go with Bob?”
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This post was originally published on an earlier date.