The golden rule is: “Give more than you get.”
Networking isn’t the give a little to get a lot type of program. You must be willing and able to share information and help build connection for it to work for you. You must have a drive to meet people. Interactions and relationship building are key to growing your network and to help others build theirs. Just think. Somewhere down the road, a connection you help someone else get could help you. It’s a WIN WIN!
You got it boys, girls, and every other pronoun. We are back on our journey into Personal Branding for Dummies (A Wiley Brand). You know the drill by now, but this time tell me what’s in your cuppa, and what you are munching on. Give me some new ideas so when we jump into our next book, I’ll have new snacks and drinks to try.
Build the pool before you need it. What??? Think about it. The worst time to build a pool is in the dead of summer. By the time it is finished the weather has shifted and you must wait until next summer to get any real use out of it. You begin your build in early spring, so the pool is ready when you need it. Get it? Cool! What does this have to do with networking? Watch how I connect these two random ideas. Ready…build and maintain your network before you need them. Now, how many connections do you have? I’m talking Facebook, twitter, email addresses, cell numbers…but how many of them do you actually talk to? This is where you build your network. Start communicating now. Some of these people and the people they know have been tucked under your nose this whole time. Don’t ignore what is right in front of you. Start reconnecting so more beneficial connections can be made later. See- build the pool (of people) before you need it.
Are you missing a few key connections? No problem…maybe. If you are the type of person who can meet anyone at anytime and hit it off- you are lucky. Not everyone has that skill. Take advantage of it. Meet, greet, and grow, my friend. Now, if you aren’t the mingling kind, this step can be a bit more challenging, but not impossible.
• This is the time to join groups that fall into the realm of people you are trying to connect with. Find professional and charitable organizations to become part of. This way you have something in common before you start talking business.
• Attend some of those office functions that people groan about going to. You may find the one person you have been trying to meet hanging around the food table.
• Create your tagline. I mentioned this before in a post. Practice a short tagline for yourself as a quick introduction. Keep it at a minute. “Hi, Ticia, it is nice to meet you. What do you do?” NOW- create your response. I know it sounds weird, but even I have to do it. In my world of writing it is called an “elevator pitch.” I must be able to sell myself and my book in the time it takes to ride an elevator (90-ish seconds).
• Now that you have gone to an event, collected cards, and made “connections”, it is time to reach out. If the event was Friday or Saturday night make sure you send an email or call the contacts you wish to add to your network by Wednesday of the following week. Do not delay. Make it known that meeting them was a pleasure and that you hope to get together again soon.
• If you have attended an event held by a coworker or higher up send a thank you card so they know who you are and add you to the list for future events. It is amazing how powerful a simple thank you card can be.
• Practice questions and answers before meeting people. No, it is not stupid. Being prepared is never stupid. I have had to practice and hone my sales pitch for author events. The elevator pitch can work while standing behind a book display trying to get someone to buy my book.
If you have a copy of this awesome-sauce book turn to pages 273-274. There is a list of 24 things to do to build your skills while networking. I broke down just a few above in this blog. You can do it. I will be a part of your network. Just reach out.
It is time to build your tribe.
What do you want to read next?
Get your vote in!! I will close the voting next week.
• Around the Writer’s Block- Rosanne Bane (1st place)
• Get a Literary Agent- Chuck Sambuchino
• Building Believable Characters- Marc McCutcheon (3rd place)
• Getting Your Book Published for Dummies (A Wiley Brand)
• The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits- Linda N. Edelstein, Ph.D. (2nd place)
• Or suggest another topic!!!
Polish your sparkle and just keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends! 😊
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