"In the end, it's not just about who you know but who you help and who helps you." - Reid Hoffman
Networking is often seen as a daunting task, conjuring images of stuffy, awkward events where business cards are exchanged like currency. However, it doesn't have to be this way. Networking is about cultivating relationships within your community and finding ways to connect and help each other. In a recent SquadU, we debunked common networking myths and discussed practical tips to make networking authentic, enjoyable, and productive.
Wrong! Networking can happen anytime and anywhere. From community gatherings to standing in line at Chipotle, you have opportunities to connect with others. Don't limit yourself to formal events.
Wrong again! Networking can be fun and rewarding if you approach it with the right mindset. Embrace discomfort as a growth opportunity and focus on building genuine connections.
Nope! Quality trumps quantity in networking. Focus on cultivating meaningful connections rather than collecting business cards. Imagine the growth of your network if you made just one quality connection each month.
WRONG-OOO! Networking is for everyone, regardless of your job title. It's about finding like-minded connections to collaborate and help one another professionally and personally.
Nope! Networking can involve tapping into your existing friends and family circle, sharing your passions, and discovering common interests.
When introducing yourself, consider crafting a one-sentence job description that focuses on outcomes and results rather than listing services. Also, share what drives you—the "why" behind what you do.
People love talking about what matters to them. When initiating a conversation, consider FORD:
Here are some conversation starters:
Incorporate your organization's mission into your introduction. For example, I use the Marketing Squad’s mission statement when I’m meeting new people: "The Marketing Squad exists to partner with our clients to tell their story and grow their business. We fulfill our mission through a disciplined mastery of digital marketing tactics, a commitment to inbound marketing methodologies, and a passion to serve well."
Does your business need help creating a mission statement or core values. Schedule a coffee connect to learn how the Squad can help you.
One of the biggest mistakes in networking is failing to follow up. Within 24 hours of an introduction, send an email, text, or make a call. Mention any collaboration opportunities or ways you can help each other. Also, connect on LinkedIn to maintain the connection.
Networking is all about building relationships, connecting with others authentically, and helping one another succeed. By dispelling common networking myths and following these practical tips, you can make networking a rewarding and enjoyable part of your personal and professional life. So, get out there, make connections, and watch your network grow!