Great networker? These are the professions you should be in

Great networker? These are the professions you should be in

New year, new career? Great at networking and want to do something with it? Or simply after a platform where you can improve your networking skills? There are at least six professions you should consider.   Public relations Publicists are the networkers par excellence. In order to have journalists write about their brands, publicists have to do much more than simply writing press releases: they have to build relationships and nurture them by carefully selecting whom they want to share which pieces of news with. Pretty often, they even go as far as spoiling journalists with luxurious events and gadgets!   Journalist It goes without saying that journalists build relationships with publicists. Moreover, almost like detectives, they talk with anybody who can provide them with hot news. If you want to make friends with a journalist, make sure you dispose of information nobody else has, and you are delivering only to them, on time and to the point. They will love you forever!   Event Manager People in this role coordinate a variety of stakeholders: companies, organisations, venues, caterers, technicians, musicians, guests and the media. Every event happens only once, so it’s unique. This involves a different concept every time, and thus always different people collaborating. Therefore, the network of event managers is constantly expanding.   Venue manager Venue managers collaborate a lot with event managers and all the other above-mentioned professionals. Also, they constantly deal with customers, some changing every day and some being regular guests. Venue managers will especially build relationships with the latter, but with their socials skills they will try to persuade the former to...

4 reasons networking should be your lifestyle

One business event per month and a little LinkedIn every now and then is what networking involves for you? Then it’s definitely not your lifestyle. It should be though! The best networkers don’t just allocate time intentionally for connecting: they also talk to people everywhere and always – at the supermarket, on the tube, at the gym. And they do so for at least four reasons.   It’s a muscle Networking is like a muscle: the more you train it, the stronger it will be. If you attend a networking event and are not used to talking to people, you will probably be nervous, connect with hardly anyone and leave early and frustrated. If you keep talking to people everywhere you go, you will not only be accustomed to it but also great at it, and thus rock every event you attend. Start by saying hi to five strangers a day this week, ask a question to five people a day next week, and engage in a conversation with five new faces a day the week after. This coaching technique is called layering, and will work wonders for your social skills, and thus confidence.   It will be needed Ever gone through a breakup and had to build your social circle from scratch because you neglected your friends during your relationship? Or lost a job and had to start networking like crazy, because you had never done it before? “Dig your well before you’re thirsty“, recommends Harvey MacKay. Because sooner or later you will be thirsty. In other words, there will surely come a day in which you’ll need a network. If you start today and make it a habit, you won’t need to get ready when...

Strategise your networking for 2016

Feel your need to become more strategic in your networking efforts? Relationship management system Contactually argues you should make networking strategy one of your New Year’s resolutions. In a recent webinar, CEO Zvi Band presented a powerful roadmap to strategise your relationships in 2016. This action plan is composed of three steps, each one driven by a question you want to ask yourself.   1) What are my goals? What is it you wish to achieve through networking this year? You probably have several goals, in different areas of your life. Write them all down, and then look at them: which ones have priority? Make sure you don’t choose more than two or three goals, as each one of them will involve a whole project. I recommend two: one in your career, one in your private life. Lastly, make sure the goals you set follow the SMART criteria.   2) What kind of people can get me there? Serendipity is extremely powerful in networking, but when it comes to achieving specific goals we need targeted measures. So let’s get analytical: what kind of people can help you attain that goal? Say you wish to double your business as a graphic designer for small-sized enterprises. The categories of people that will benefit you will be for instance your existing customers (who can refer you), other marketing and communications professionals (who can ask you to take care of design in multidisciplinary projects) and entrepreneurs (your potential clients).   3) Who do I already know from this category? Now, for every group you have identified list ten to twenty people you already know....

Networking on a budget

Even if you don’t live in one the most expensive cities on earth, like I do, you probably still find networking pricey. And it can be! However, as much as I will always argue that we should invest not just time but also money in networking, I also developed a few tricks to limit expenses. Here are four of them.   Drinks instead of food Keith Ferrazzi, one of the greatest networking theorists, invites us to “Never Eat Alone”. However, as uniting as food can be, it’s not indispensable for connecting with people. Drinks, especially coffee, are more affordable, and still grant enough time for deep conversations. Also, you can have them at any time of the day, which allows for flexibility in scheduling.   Host gatherings If you manage to bring a certain amount of people to a venue, its manager will be grateful to you, and you probably won’t have to pay for your drink. Besides, if your guests are satisfied with the event you organized, they will want to thank you by buying you a drink. Call it networking karma!   Become a regular guest Combine the two above techniques with loyalty to a handful of venues, and benefits will be even greater. If you frequently bring in people, you can ask cafés and restaurants for discounts, or even a cut on proceeds. This way, you will not only save on your drinks: you will also start making money! By the way, have you been wondering how you can actively monetise your broad network? Very practical advice is coming soon, so stay tuned!   Get invited...
Keep your network active while expanding it

Keep your network active while expanding it

Fancy expanding your network, but fear losing contact with your existing connections? The former doesn’t necessarily imply the latter. Indeed, these two scenarios can even support each other. Let’s find out how through three simple techniques.   Match new contacts with old ones While getting to know a new person, try to identify commonalities they share with your existing contacts. “You are into X? Then you absolutely have to meet my contact Y!”. If you reckon that two people can benefit from meeting each other, connect them straight away! This is, à propos, one of the most effective ways to add value to your network, as well as my favourite one. And the broader the network, the more the matchmaking opportunities, the more exciting the exercise!   Host targeted gatherings You can’t constantly go for coffee with all your contacts, especially old ones (while we do recommend you follow up in person at least once with new connections). So gather old and new acquaintances and have them mingle! As Jayson Gaignard explains in “Mastermind Dinners: Build Lifelong Relationships by Connecting Experts, Influencers and Linchpins”, connecting people the right way is an art – also referred to as connectional intelligence by Erica Dhawan and Saj-Nicole A. Joni. We recommend two main constellations for bringing together your old and new connections: gatherings for people from similar industries, and get-togethers for folks with completely different backgrounds. The first ones allow for your guests to discover synergies, the latter involve weak ties, and thus facilitate innovation.   Earn introductions You have been practicing networking karma and thus got yourself the reputation of a value-adder: amazing! As...

The high art of the follow up

So you’ve met an amazing person at a networking event, or even just at the tram stop. You connected with them on a deep level in just a few minutes, and you even exchanged business cards. Yet it will all be wasted time if you don’t follow up. But it will also be a missed opportunity if you don’t keep in touch the right way. So let’s discover the high art of the follow up through three simple techniques.   Add value Don’t just reach out for the sake of it – by just writing, for instance, “Hey, how’s it going?”. This way, you are basically saying “I’m here: entertain me”. We don’t want to sound needy, nor do we want to be needy in the first place! We are people who can add value to other people’s lives. So send your new contact an article or a book they could be interested in, invite them to an event you’re attending, or, my favourite, introduce them to your network. For details about these techniques, see our article “4 ways to add value to your network”.   Meet up Staying in touch virtually is inevitable nowadays, but it’s not enough. I would even argue that remote communication should be banned as the only connection means if you and your contact live in the same town! Would you dare to even try to compare reading a plain three-line email to exploring someone’s facial expression, body language and use of space, while sipping on your cappuccino on a sunny square? And, networking wise, interacting offline is not only more enjoyable, but also more effective, as...