Network Like You Mean It
If you find that you just have a desk full of business cards, then it might be time to change up how you do your networking. To keep it simple, you need to think about quality over quantity. With the rise of social media, especially in business, then it may feel like we have to have the highest number of followers and meet the most people. But in business, there aren’t many professions that will actually benefit from just knowing lots of people. Perhaps for event or nightclub promotion, for instance. But for pretty much every other business it is a totally different story. So here are some more effective ways to network and make your networking work better for you.
Find a Critical Few
It is a good idea to think about a small number of people that have shown to be or will be, important in your career. It could include people like customers, co-workers, or someone that has helped the business along the way and helped you to make some important and valuable connections. Once you have identified those people, then it is so important to stay in touch with them all on a regular basis. Don’t just send a card around the holidays. Make it much more regular, and they will appreciate it much more and be more likely to help again too.
Choose a Way To Stay Engaged
There will be other people that you have the business card of. They might not be counted as one of your ‘critical few,’ but they are still important to stay in touch with. It could be that you send them a newsletter or follow them and engage with them on social media. It is always a good idea to keep doors and connections open. But obviously, some are more important to keep open than others.
Whether you are generous, and genuinely mean to be, then t really does show. People don’t want to just see you as someone that is self-interested. You want to have more of a generous spirit with those in your network. Some of the best networkers are those that like to help others and are genuinely happy to do so. It could be that you offer help with others or get involved with the local community that your business finds itself in. You could even send out helpful things to schools including things like flash drives for promotion, for example. You are being helpful but getting some promotion in return too.
Find a Connection
If you want to find a worthwhile connection with someone, then find out more about them. If you’re at events and talking to different people, try to focus on things other than business. When you can find a personal connection with people, they will remember you so much more. The same goes for you too. You’re much more likely to take the card of someone that connects with you on a different level, rather than someone just talking ‘shop’ all evening.