How to Network for Success.

Here’s the thing about networking: it’s really nothing more than talking to other people.

But, for some reason, many, many people have trouble doing that.

Whether it’s not knowing what to say, or imagining that others don’t want to talk to you, something seems to get in the way of simple communication between two people.

But first…

What is networking?

Networking isn’t merely the exchange of information with others — and it’s certainly not about begging for favors.

It is about establishing and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you meet, whether you’re waiting to order your morning coffee, participating in a church program or attending a work conference. 

Although you don’t have to join several professional associations and attend every networking event that comes your way in order to be a successful, but there’s no denying the power a strong professional network can have over your career or business success. 

When it’s rightly done, networking will give you a competitive edge throughout every stage of your career.

How do you Network?

One thing you must understand about networking is that it is an art of self promotion that must be planned and achieved like other goals. 

So how do you network effectively? 

  1. Figure out your networking style.

While you don’t need to know exactly what you expect to get out of each networking opportunity, it’s important to head into each activity with a goal. For example, you may attend an event with the goal of connecting with three new people in your industry or bringing back one new insight to share with your co-workers

2. Draw a game plan.

While you don’t need to know exactly what you expect to get out of each networking opportunity, it’s important to head into each activity with a goal. For example, you may attend an event with the goal of connecting with three new people in your industry or bringing back one new insight to share with your co-workers

3. Follow up.

It’s a simple task, yet many professionals neglect this critical step in the networking process. The time you invested in speaking with someone new won’t benefit your career development if you fail to follow up afterward. While you don’t need to send a long, heartfelt message immediately after meeting someone new, you should send a LinkedIn connection request with a personalized message sooner rather than later. Save the thoughtful message when you have something valuable to share or a specific reason to reach out.

These few basic rules will help you succeed at networking. But remember, the goal of networking is to build relationships and networks.

As Baikowitz once said “the worst networking mistake you can make is not trying at all.”

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