Easy 5-minute Tips to Make Your Network Thrive

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No time to network? Have you got five minutes?

Here are some quick tips to stay top of mind with your network and make it thrive.

1. Get Social: Set a specific purpose and time limit for your social media activities each day. This helps you avoid overwhelm or distraction (hey check out this link, which leads to that link, which leads to …). In your specified time frame, take a moment and tweet a reply to one of your followers. Have you read a great post on LinkedIn or Facebook? Hit the “like” button and share it with your connections.

2. Repurpose: Are you reading a great blog post or article you feel would benefit your network? Tweet a link or post a link to the story with a brief descriptor on LinkedIn or Facebook. Or if it’s relevant to only one or two people in your network versus the entire group, send a link to the story in an email: “Saw this article and thought you might find it helpful.”

3. Align networking with things you’re already doing: Going to a football game? Whether it’s the pros or your kids, game time is a great time to network. You’re sharing a common interest, which makes starting a conversation easy.

4. Make a plan: Going to a networking event or conference? Set a goal to meet at least three new people.

5. Create a dynamic, branded sound bite: Doing so helps you quickly address, “So, what do you do?” Check out chapter 5 of my book, Rock Your Network®, for a quick three-step formula to create a sound bite that helps you network with ease and confidence. Got a business? Shark Tank’s Daymond John says, you better be able to distill your brand down to two to five words. Are you ready for your next big gig?

Now that you have your networking plan, sound bite, and goals, you’re prepared for networking anytime, anywhere, I’d love to hear your networking stories and tips. Feel free to share in the comment section. Go get ’em!

© 1998 – 2014 | Wendy Terwelp . All rights reserved.

 

 

Holiday Networking and Your Brand

The holidays are fast approaching and that means parties, parties, parties – friends, family, and office parties. A great time to network.

Let’s talk first about the “Do’s,” the right things to do during holiday gatherings that improve your brand and build your network:

  •  Attend holiday gatherings. I know, you’ve been invited to so many and it can get a bit overwhelming. I encourage you to participate and take an active role.
  • Be professional. You never know who will be at the event. Work events included. The spouse or significant other of a coworker could be a key connection for you later on. Many of my clients have gotten hired over the holidays.
  •  Take online networks offline. It’s the holidays, just because business may have slowed down, networking doesn’t have to. Good chance your online network has time for a coffee or lunch.
  • Take time to call a friend and other connections in your network. If your friend doesn’t have time for lunch, make time for a brief call. With the recent hurricane and other events, it’s important to stay in touch and strengthen your ties. These events affect globally, not just locally.
  • Develop and practice your networking sound bite before heading to a party or other holiday event.
  • LISTEN. Listen to the conversations and identify areas where you can help. You’ve got to fuel your network to fire it up!™
  • Follow up with whatever you promised.
  • Connect via the appropriate social network(s). LinkedIn is terrific in that it provides regular updates right to your inbox, so you can quickly follow up with a congratulations note or related email.

Networking is all about building and maintaining relationships, not about making the instant sale or begging for a job. Build the relationship first. It will lead to the rest. Networking this way will have a positive effect on your brand and propel your career.

Have you got a holiday networking story to share? Tell us! And get the chance to win my book, “Rock Your Network®.”I look forward to hearing from you!

Networking 101 – Starting Conversations

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“I know networking is really important, but how do I get the conversation started?” said an attendee at one of my presentations. In the words of Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get people interested in you.”

Translation: Ask the new people you meet about themselves. When in a group or at a party, listen carefully to the conversation. See where you might be able to jump in. It may be something as simple as an exclamation, “You’re kidding me!” that gets the ball rolling.

I recommend preparing in advance of the event by setting networking goals and having at least three open-ended questions you can ask any person at the networking event.

Here are open-ended questions that encourage conversation:
1) What brings you to today’s meeting [event, conference, barbeque…]?
2) What one or two things would you like to take away from this event [conference, meeting, party…]?
3) What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you all week?

NEVER ask: “Do you know anyone who’s hiring?” Or “Do you know anyone interested in buying [insert your product here]?”

If you’re at a business event, get a business card from the new contact and jot down some notes from the conversation. It can be as simple as, “Big Elvis fan.” That way, the next time you see the person or call the person, you can start the conversation with, “Hey, did you see the new 2-CD set that came out on Elvis? Has all the songs, plus a 32-page book. Cool.” Then, once they’ve exhausted their excitement of the big event, you can jump into the “real” conversation, “So, what’s going on at the office? Did they create that position we talked about at Bernadine’s Memorial Day party?”

Your goal is to create real and helpful connections, NOT close the deal on a job offer, nail the sale of your product or service or collect the most business cards in the room.

©2005 – 2012 | Wendy J. Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp advises and coaches clients in the art of networking, turning networking pain to career gain. What to fine-tune your networking efforts and have more confidence in any networking situation? Let’s talk!