Let's talk some more about networking. First, decide what your goals are in participating in networking meetings or events. That will help you decide what type of groups that will help you get what you are looking for. Some networking groups are based more on learning, others are based more on making contacts. Visit as many groups as possible to determine where you would fit best. Notice the tone of the group. Does everyone there support each other? What about the leadership, do they appear competent? Keep in mind that networking is about being genuine, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others. Once you've found a good fit with your needs, hold volunteer positions in the organization you've chosen. This is a great way to stay visible as well as giving back.
Remember networking is NOT about getting a job or sale. Networking is about building relationships. By building that relationship with the other person, it makes it easier to build your business. It can also foster some really great friendships.
So what do you do with all those cards you got at that networking event last night? Start by taking out that stack and head online to your facebook or other social networking site. See if any of the people from your stack have an account. If so, connect with them and write them a brief note inviting them to be your friend. By doing this, your new contact will have the opportunity to get to know you a little bit by reading your profile. It is important to keep in contact with that person by posting relevant information and deepening that connection. Write each person an email or postcard, personalizing it with a reminder about what you talked about at the event. This is a great way to follow up with those you have connected with, therefore keeping the connection alive and eliminating those cold calls!
You are welcome to post any comments below and let us know how you network and any tips you have that have worked for you.
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