“Can you teach me how to network?”
When clients hire me to coach them through the networking process, I always take the time to explain to clients the value of networking. You should not stop networking once you get a job. It is a valuable use of your time to schedule an hour a week to network. Denis Grevelle says, “Your Network Is Your Net Worth”.
Fear Of Networking
Yet there seems to be a genuine fear and distressing misunderstanding of the purpose of networking which lead to negative actions and consequences.
Twenty years ago, networking was tougher than today. Your first request needed to be either in person or over the phone. This can be scary for many, myself included. So, yes, I would understand that people were hesitant to network.
Networking today is so much easier. All you have to do is write an email or a note to send over social media. Tactlessly, however, not wanting to deal with actual networking, many networkers send email templates or duplicate messages that lead to passive or negative reactions.
The Art Of Networking
Be aware of the intricate art of networking. Crucially, you should not write one template and send it randomly to everyone on your contact list. A networking message is NOT a newsletter.
Here are five straightforward networking tips to use:
- Google search the person. You need to know what the person you are contacting does before you reach out.
- Why that person. I mean, really, people are busy. Why do you think talking to that person is important to you?
- Personalize your approach. Your email or note needs to actually talk to that person. Again, people are busy. They want to know why you want to talk specifically to them and not to any random person, so be sure to let them know.
- Form a relationship. Take the time to get to know your contact. DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT try to sell or ask for a job in that email or note. These requests are red flags and will be deleted and ignored.
- Examine your viewpoint. What I am saying is that put yourself in that person’s shoes. Would you respond to your message?
Networking success is neither haphazard nor random. It is NOT throwing things at the wall and hoping one will stick.
Networking IS about you taking the time to write clear and concise words. Your words need to be chosen carefully to express interest in the work of the person you are hoping will respond.
Take the time to learn and perfect the art of networking. Follow the tips I provided to get you started. After that, it’s time to network, network and network some more.
Not sure how to get started? DM me & let’s chat!