3 Steps of Smart Networking

network

  • What does networking mean to you?
  • What kind of techniques do you use to find new connections?
    Lets start from the definition of Social Network from Wikipedia

A social network is a social structure made up of individuals (or organizations) called “nodes”, which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.

or

Social network analysis examines the structure of relationships between social entities. These entities are often persons, but may also be groups, organizations, nation states, web sites, scholarly publications.

or

Business networking is a socioeconomic activity by which groups of like-minded businesspeople recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities. A business network is a type of social network whose reason for existing is business activity.

Networking is about making connections and building relationships and not just collecting numbers on Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter. I found on Colleen Sharen’s blog Thinking is Hard Work information regarding networking – why people need that. Colleen quoted Robert E. Kelley from his book How to be a Star at Work:

Kelley’s premise is that networking is about an exchange of favors. You earn your way into a network by doing favors for those in the network, and eventually the people in your network will do favors for you.

I really like this part because it makes me think that making new connections/meeting new people it’s about exchanging knowledge/information/etc.

Making new connections I should ask myself: what can I give to the person I meet? How will they remember me and how will I remember them?. And asking myself those questions I think it’s a good start for smart networking and not just networking.

3steps of smart-networkingI created a 3 steps smart networking guide:

  • why? –> why I want to meet that person?
  • what? –> what can I give them? + what can I get?
  • what’s next? –> how I will keep that connection active?

After I ask myself those questions – it’s not that easy to just send another Linkedin/Twitter/Facebook invitation. I don’t have thousands of followers/connections but I try to work on what I have and working on it takes more time and efforts than ‘click and go’.

Maybe it’s time for quality and not quantity? Well, everything depends on the social media and networking strategy you have, right?

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4 thoughts on “3 Steps of Smart Networking

  1. I love your list Klaudia!

    Why is networking so hard? I have this fear always that people think I’m this loud goof who thinks she is funny, but really is just making an ars of herself.

    It helps me always to have some strategies when I meet people to overcome this fear… build some of my own confidence.

    1) I try to be up to date on my own industry, but also the world in general to carry a conversation and offer my opinions.
    2) I try not to take the interchange too seriously. Have fun. Crack some jokes.
    3) I make sure that they are clear on who I am in a sentence. People need to place you in a category to remember you. She is the finance people person. He is the social media person who works with small business.
    4) I am clear on what makes me special. For me… its that I do creative and project manage. I unique combination.
    5) Always leave the conversation with your new acquaintance knowing that you are always willing to help in a specific way.

    Makes sense?

  2. Thank you Laurinda for your kind words.
    of course it make sense – great insight! I agree that it’s so important to be prepared (as much as we can) before we start doing some networking.
    I think that my biggest issue right now is that I am too afraid (sometimes) to approach and start the conversation. I am doing it – bit it’s not that easy.

    Elevator speech helps a lot – so it’s good to practice that. I remember my first networking – wow! when someone asked ‘so what do you do Klaudia?” I was speechless for few sec. because I didn’t know where to start. And then elevator speech is very useful.

    I didn’t add this in my post but networking is NOT selling.

  3. Well Klaudia… if you are just as nice to meet IRL as you were online.. there should be NO FEAR! You are great as you are. 🙂

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