Tip # 1
Teach your Children to Network Well.
I have written a blog about this in the past and as time passes, I increasingly think networking expertise will be imperative to your children’s career success. I recently heard a radio recruitment ad for a local college; it stated that the average college student will have 14 to 15 jobs in their career. Continuous networking will even be more important in the future because one won’t be able to rely on job longevity.
Tip # 2
Connectors are Key.
Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term connector in his book, The Tipping Point. Connectors are rare and only one in several thousand people might be thought of as a true connector. Have you ever met a person who says to you, “Have you met …..? Have you ever been to …..? They are connectors. They are taking you down roads that you don’t know exist and introducing you to people who could be a great resource for you. Listen to connectors and follow the roads they lead you to. To learn more, check out the ABC’s of Networking.
Tip # 3
Practice Purpose Driven Networking.
There are many dimensions of purpose driven networking. One is a focused metrics-driven approach. You establish your list of target companies; you drill down into the organization systemically and deeply and you try to enter through many doors. If no opportunities exist you move on to other prospects and eliminate the company from your target list.
The other element of Purpose Driven Networking is the pay- it-forward approach where your networking philosophy is based on a belief that return will come in the end if you help people. This is even when it doesn’t readily appear that they can assist you in your career quests.
Tip # 4
Networking Helps Keep you Smart.
It is vital to stay current and abreast of the rapid changes in technology and social media today especially if you are a marketer like me. The ability to learn doesn’t come with an expiry date. The marketing services I provide these days are much different than my suite of services ten years ago. That focus years ago was much narrower. What’s the best way to learn new things, stay current, find new mentors, and alliance partners? Networking. You can see a speaker at a networking event and get current. To learn more check out Networking Your Way to Reinvention.
Tip # 5
Take your Business Cards out of your Wallet.
I reordered business cards last month and I usually print 1500 at any time. It’s pretty cost efficient. More importantly, I hand out that many cards in about a year. It is easy for me because I often speak on networking. I am still amazed when I ask people for a business card how they have to dig into their wallet and find that precious card. It’s not like I was asking for their American Express card. Business cards are meant to be distributed. You should keep your cards in your pocket all the time, even when you go to the gym. Networking is 24/7.
Tip # 6
Get Involved with a Non-Profit.
To expand your network get involved with a non-profit, there is plenty of need out there. I remember somebody suggested that I get involved with a non-profit. I was a little hesitant but then served on the Board of Art4Healing in Laguna Niguel. It was an extremely rewarding experience and opened my eyes to many new groups that I never knew existed. If you are in transition it may provide a sense of contribution that you may be missing.
Always Follow Up on Your Networking Meeting.
I always say, if you aren’t going to follow up on the contacts you make at a networking meeting, don’t go. It is really a waste of your time if you don’t harvest your networking efforts. This can be a challenge for me and others as we move on to everyday business. One of the best ways to get it done is to follow up quickly; I consider it my homework to follow up. I don’t always give myself an A but I know it’s crucial. I am constantly surprised how many times I am introduced to some new people and never hear from them again. Your networking meeting is the start of the journey not the conclusion.
You can download Hank’s Networking CD’s by visiting his site at http://www.hankblank.com
You can connect with Hank on Linkedin
Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank
Watch his video on YouTube on How to Rise Above the Crowd.