How to Create a Networking Plan that Works

Would you like to get more results when you network? Here’s how to create a networking plan that works:

1. Schedule a regular time each week to network. We all get busy, even when unemployed. (Those “honey-do” lists seem to grow.) By scheduling regular time in your calendar to network, it not only gets done, but you’ll feel more confident and comfortable in networking situations, avoid the hermit syndrome, and meet people who want to help you. Know that people want to help you and see you succeed.

2. Schedule 10 minutes each day to use social media, including providing status updates, relevant links that demonstrate your thought leadership, and quick emails to those who’ve updated their statuses with wins. For example, if you read your LinkedIn updates and a friend has landed a new position, send her a brief congratulatory note.

3. Determine which offline, in-person groups you will join and how often they meet. Take an active role in the organization, such serving as the chapter ambassador. This helps you meet more people and overcome some of the jitters of being in a new group.

4. Set networking goals for yourself. For example, when attending a new group, set a goal to meet three new people. Write this goal in your calendar where you’ve scheduled the meeting.

5. Prepare and rehearse your sound bite. Networking can take place any time, any where. Be prepared.

6. Update your network regularly with the action steps you’ve taken. If a friend referred you to a contact and you set up an informational interview, let your friend know that you made the connection and got results.

Make your job search your new full-time job. Scheduling networking activities will not only help you feel more productive, but help you land your next job much, much faster.

Want more networking tips? Check out Rock Your Network®, the book.

4 thoughts on “How to Create a Networking Plan that Works

  1. […] Know what you want. When you attend a networking event, what is it you want from the event? Contacts? Referrals? People to brainstorm ideas? One colleague joined a marketing group – to learn about writing marketing copy. Then complained when she did not land new business. New business was not the focus of the group. If you want new business, join a leads group. It’s also important to go into a group with a goal. When attending your next conference who would you most like to meet? Make a plan.  […]

  2. […] Know what you want. When you attend a networking event, what is it you want from the event? Contacts? Referrals? People to brainstorm ideas? One colleague joined a marketing group – to learn about writing marketing copy. Then complained when she did not land new business. New business was not the focus of the group. If you want new business, join a leads group. It’s also important to go into a group with a goal. When attending your next conference who would you most like to meet? Make a plan.  […]

  3. Tip: “Schedule 10 minutes each day to use social media.” is the best tip in this article. The power of social media can not be under-estimated.

    Great artcile! Keep it up. 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words SuperCareero! 🙂 Much appreciated. I put in a time-frame because sometimes social media can get a bit overwhelming and we can while away hours using all the tools (I know I can…). Scheduling a specific time-frame helps us stay on track – and get things done.

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