Do you feel like you’re networking ALL. OF. THE. TIME. but nothing ever comes of it? Your networking strategy might need to be improved. Here are some signs that you need to change your networking game plan:
1. You’ve got a bad case of WIIFM (“What’s in it for me?”)
Yes, having a strong network can help you out – whether it’s getting a job or finding clients. However, if you focus too much on what’s in it for you, you’re going to shoot yourself in the foot. If you really want help from your network, you need to offer value before you ask for anything. Before you ask for a favor from someone, you’ve got to prove you’re going to be a valuable member of his or her network. So, share an industry-related article, introduce him/her to someone in your network, or share an article he/she wrote. Remember, always offer before you ask.
2. You wait way too long to follow up.
If you wait too long to follow up with someone you met, you risk that person forgetting about you and what you discussed. If you meet someone at a networking event, make sure you follow up with him/her within a week. Also, briefly remind this person who you are, how you met, and what you discussed. This will help him/her remember why you’d be a great addition to his/her network.
3. You DON’T follow up at all!
Ugh. The only thing worse than waiting too long to follow up is not following up at all. Let’s say you met this fantastic person at a networking event but you failed to follow up. What was the point of putting yourself out there and meeting new people if you’re not willing to take the professional relationship further? Always, always, always follow up. Otherwise, you could miss out on some great opportunities.
Does any of this sound like you? It’s time to clean up your networking strategy so you can build a strong and powerful network that works for YOU.
by Ariella Coombs