Be the Robin Hood of your Social Network
Robin Hood took from the rich and gave to the poor. You can do this as well, with your networking contacts. I view the quantity and quality of my connections on social networking sites as pieces of gold.
The more connections I have, the more personal brand wealth I have and the more people want to connect with me. The secret to successful networking is to spread the "wealth" and put some "gold" into the pockets of your contacts.
I am fortunate enough to have met some great people while attending professional events, mixers, and conferences. Here are just a few of the things that I have found to be successful through networking online and offline:
When you meet someone at a business event:
- Always get a business card and immediately follow up with an email within 48 hours.
- Connect on social networks- search their name on Facebook and LinkedIn and send them a request to connect. They almost always will accept.
If you connected online, through a social networking site:
- Take the connection offline. Set up a meeting to talk in person over coffee.
- Take a few moments to review their profile and check out who they are connected to. (No, you don’t have to stalk them…just get enough info to keep the conversation flowing when you meet.)
When you are talking with a new contact:
- LISTEN to what they do, who they want to connect with, and what their networking goals are. Suggest of one of your contacts that might be helpful to them.
- Tell them in a brief, precise statement what your networking goals are- AKA the “elevator speech” or your own personalized “mission statement”.
- Ask for referrals. The people that you know probably know people that you SHOULD know. Ask them who they suggest you network with and ask for an introduction. ALWAYS do your part and contact the person they referred you to.
Don’t forget to:
- Follow-up from time to time.
- Interact with your connections on your social networks.
Good Luck and Happy Networking!