6 Tips 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. Without a plan, we all get busy, and suddenly, when we need it most, our network is outdated or scattered. 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 binge-watching your fave show, and meet people who want to help you propel your career. People want to help you and see you succeed.

Think about how you feel when you help others, whether it’s recommending a favorite restaurant or referring someone to your preferred service provider, like a financial advisor, lawyer, career coach, or other service.

2. Schedule 10 minutes each day to use social media. I say 10 minutes or you’ll end up down the internet rabbit hole. Determine what actions you’ll take online. Here are a few to try: 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 notifications and a friend has landed a new position or received an award, 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. Click here for ideas on which groups to join.

4. Set networking goals for yourself. For example, when attending a new group, set a goal to meet three new people. Three people who need to know about you based on your career or business goals. 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.

You’ve got to fuel your network to fire it up! Scheduling networking activities makes your network thrive. And regular contact with those in your network will help you achieve your career goals much faster.

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

Copyright 1998-2019 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp, author of Rock Your Network®, writes, speaks, and coaches on career management, networking, social media, and personal branding. Need a speaker for your association, company or private coaching to rock your career? Let’s talk!

What’s that thing you do? ONE thing.

You’re at a networking event… meeting… conference… cocktail party… and it happens.

“So, what do you do?” the networker asks you.

“Um, well I’m a consultant / L&D pro / social media expert…” you say.

Slash happens. And I get it. You have a lot to offer and a lot of interests. When you’re at an event, all those slash titles can be hard for one person to take in. A more effective approach, decide how you wish to be known and communicate that one thing – not everything. It’s confusing to the listener.

What’s the one thing you wish to be known for and and your best, most relevant story, that demonstrates your expertise to the audience who needs to know about you?

When I coach my clients on effective networking, we work hard on creating a dynamic brand-driven sound bite that gets attention, without overwhelming the listener.

Picking one thing can be tough, but it’s important. As one of my client’s said, working through the exercise, “It’s like my whole career – skills, experience, knowledge is summed up in this one project. It just doesn’t feel right.”

That may be true, however, in networking, and asking your friends, etc. “who do they know, who…” it is important to be clear and focused. Sharing ONE story helps people get an idea of what you can do for someone. It also helps them easily share your story with their connections. And your network becomes your personal sales force.

Challenge: Create your sound bite. Be focused. Share a benefit-driven story that demonstrates your expertise. Tell how your network can help you best.

Want step-by-step help to network like a rock star? Check out my book, Rock Your Network® and rebuild your network in 5 minutes a day online or off.

© 2018 Wendy Terwelp | Wendy Terwelp speaks about social networking, F2F networking, personal branding, and career development. Want raving fans, referrals, and even happier, more engaged employees? Book her here: https://www.knocks.com/speaking/

 

Holiday Networking and Your Brand

The holidays are fast approaching and that means parties — those of your friends, family, office colleagues, professional associations, and more. A great time to network.

Here are some things you can 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 fires and other events, it’s important to stay in touch and strengthen your ties. These events affect people 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? Share in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you!

© updated 2018 | Wendy Terwelp

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

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.