We’re all familiar with the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” When you are making new connections and expanding your network, it is important to take time to think through how you can make your network work for you to get the most out of your connections.
Each new person you meet can be a new point in your network, but planning ahead and having a strategy can exponentially increase the value of networking. By thinking through how you will network and coming up with your plan of attack, you not only will be more prepared to make better connections, but will refine your networking abilities and become a networking genius.
Begin with figuring out what kind of people you need to add to your network. This can be anyone from lateral employees at companies within your industry to higher ups in a field you are interested in penetrating into. Once you have determined what kind of people to add you can begin to look for specific people and events. After you have found events to attend, try to obtain a copy of the list of attendees to strategize whom to meet. When you are at the event making connections, be sure to have meaningful interactions. It does you no good to meet someone if they will not remember you afterwards. Finally, after you have made your connection, be sure to follow-up quickly. Your follow up could be a quick note in an email, an invitation to coffee or lunch, or even a connect on LinkedIn.
Networking will never be an exact science, but with careful consideration and planning it can become a nearly perfected art. Do not be afraid to try different techniques and figure out what works best for you. Inevitably mistakes will be made, that is okay. Learn from the mistakes and do better the next time. With planning, networking prowess will soon be in your wheelhouse.
Contact Connor | Caitlin to talk more about networking and how you can improve your skills.