Why networking can save baby boomers

Are you one of those many baby boomers who have lost their job? Or are you between 50 and 65 and afraid you will be made redundant soon? If networking has always been your lifestyle, at least over the past few years, you shouldn’t worry too much. For at least three reasons.   Job search is shorter When they apply for job openings in a traditional way, most baby boomers get rejected because of their mature age and high salary expectations. On the contrary, if they apply through their network, they will be more successful. Whether they get informed by their contacts about vacancies that are not public (yet) or they apply themselves and get recommended afterwards, pre-qualification is involved, which generate trust in the recruiter.   Starting your own business is easier More and more baby boomers who have lost their job start their own business. Most of them have always been great networkers. And this is not a case. Indeed, most of the times their network is the very reason why they decided to start their own business: their first clients, partners and promoters are contacts they have known for years. Moreover, their networking skills make them great sellers and business developers, which allows for them to reach strangers too.   A new job might not be needed Most successful people just happen to be great networkers. It goes without saying that if you’ve always led a networking lifestyle, you’re probably successful, and thus wealthy. And if you’ve reached financial freedom, you might decide not too look for a new job   Baby boomer and never networked? Go start now! Not a baby boomer? Do it anyway: it’s...
Why business cards are more topical in 2016 than ever

Why business cards are more topical in 2016 than ever

“In this digital era, business cards are dead”, people tell me time and again. I respond “Business cards are more topical now than ever!”. And this for at least six reasons.   They make you stand out At events, on the street, most people are exchanging contact details digitally. If you extend a business card instead, you will surely stand out. And if your business card is actually of good quality, even better: it will be remembered, and maybe even stored after getting scanned.   They’re tangible The physical presence of a business card allows for you to actually take it into your hands, put it in your pocket and carry it home. This makes the rapport you built with your interlocutor last also after your interaction.   They work as a reminder How many times do we add people on social media still during our first meeting, they immediately accept our request and then after the interaction we forget each other forever? If you add your new contact after the event, thanks to the business card they gave you you will probably drop a follow-up line as well, which will increase chances to actually stay in touch.   They’re practical at events How many times do we miss out on potentially amazing contacts because the event was too crowded to properly exchange contact details? With business cards, all you have to do is hand it to your interlocutor, which takes about 1.849 seconds. By the way, with social phenomena such as Meetup, Tweetups and InterNations, events are definitely becoming more and more of a trend!   They represent your brand This one is especially valid for entrepreneurs. The design of your business card...
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....
The perfect offline introduction

The perfect offline introduction

Are names and job titles all you’re able to mention while introducing two people at an event? Being a connector is an amazingly powerful networking tool, which can deliver lasting results for everyone involved, but you have to master it to stand out. The good news is that you just need to bring to the table the following topics, in this very order.   1) ID Start with the classical identity card material – i.e. name and origin. “Guido, this is Karly from Sidney. Karly, this is Guido from Rome”. Just mentioning names can sound dry, while adding too much information in this first line can lead to a monologue. So just go for your contacts’ hometown: it’s short and sweet, but at the same time it will build up anticipation in your interlocutors.   2) Personal qualities After shaking hands and exchanging the classical “Nice to meet you”, your contacts will most probably not yet initiate a conversation, so just keep talking. Now it’s time to sell them to one another! Yet, I beg you, don’t identify them with their job. Focus rather on their personal qualities, ideally one that represents them and at the same time can generate interest in the interlocutor. For instance, knowing that Guido is new in town, you can go: “Guido, Sidney is one of the greatest networkers I know in Zurich!”. Not focusing on people’s profession exhibits two advantages: firstly, you are not stealing a topic they will probably touch anyway during their conversation; secondly, and most importantly: a job doesn’t make the person, their qualities do. In other words, Sidney might be the CEO of a certain company at the moment, but she might be out of work in a few weeks. Yet, she will possess those networking skills forever.   3) Their connection...