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...
3 people you should have in your mid network

3 people you should have in your mid network

As sociologist Mark Granovetter discovered, it is the people with whom we are the least connected who offer us the most opportunities. In business, this translates directly into innovation. At the same time, as Jim Rohn theorised, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with”. These people are most definitely your family and closest friends, and belong to your so-called inner circle.   How about the people in between? Who should they be? Let’s explore a few of them.   Your mentor Nowadays, there exist numerous kinds of mentors, and even more reasons to have a mentor, but networking-wise the value of a mentor is mainly twofold. First, they have a whole different network of contacts and connections that you don’t. And secondly, they’ve been there and done that. You can learn from your mentor’s mistakes and avoid making them yourself, and thus save your reputation in your network – and, further down the line, theirs too.   Your mentee The fact you have a mentor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be one yourself! Just make sure this person is a few steps after you on their path, so they can benefit from your experience. Even if not as broad and diversified as yours, your mentee has a network too, which gives you access to new opportunities (see the strengths of weak ties). And as the good connector you are, you will help your mentee expand their network, which will in turn feed your networking karma. Moreover, introducing your mentee to your contacts will help you increase the density of your own network, which should be one of the highest goals of every respectable connector....