Networking is about connection, collaboration, teamwork, synergy, enrichment, and bonding. It comes from the position of power, abundance, cooperation, and reciprocal help―the more you give, the more you get. The list is endless. Networking (in person and online) can help you move ahead or remain comfortable where you are. It can introduce you to allies you didn’t know you had, and it can help your business gain momentum and enhance your personal growth.
Chapter 1: AFTER HOURS SOCIAL PROSPECTING
Sub-chapters: Discovering Your Nuggets of Gold | Secret to Connecting People | Review Quiz
- To help you find and develop the right career marketplace strategy or determine the social networking opportunity that works for you.
- To show you how you can make social prospecting comfortable and successful by broadening your networking opportunities, making the best social connections, and understanding the value of connecting people.
- To encourage you to be a people connector!
A prospector pans for gold until one day he finally discovers gold among all the small rocks and debris. This is how networking works. You are prospecting for your networking nuggets of gold. These nuggets can come in the form of connecting people, receiving helpful information or generating a business lead. To make the process work, you must keep panning and occasionally change venues (streams). While some in person and online streams consistently fill your needs, others you only discover when you stumble onto the opportunity. Where would we be today if the miners had given up and stopped panning after each disappointment? Keep panning!
There are many variables to the prospecting process, whether internal or external, that allow you to find new opportunities. They are all broken down and explained in detail in this chapter.
Chapter 2: MASTER THE SKILL OF MINGLING
Sub-chapters: Overriding Shyness | Get Set to Connect | Verbal and Written Personal Infomercials | A Proven Three-Step Strategy for Mixing and Mingling Like a Pro | Juggling the Handshake, Hors D’oeuvres and Beverage | A Final Checklist for Getting Connected at an Event | Review Quiz
- To demonstrate that confidence makes all the difference in demonstrating your social expertise and leadership skills.
- To help you make a plan to overcome social barriers, dilemmas, shyness, or faux pas and interact with a demeanor of self-assuredness.
- To provide tips on how to approach with confidence, mix and mingle like a pro, and be prepared in every detail—attire, posture, attitude, and attention to body language.
You cannot truly network unless you can walk into a room, without knowing anyone there, and work the room to meet others and engage in substantive conversation. It’s the prerequisite! If mingle phobia is your biggest barrier, the best way to accomplish this is with a strategy. Take the awkwardness out of attending networking events by engaging a model that achieves your goals.
This chapter describes a three-step strategy: (1) approach, (2) engage, (3) depart. It is all about looking and feeling confident, making yourself known, and being memorable in a positive way. It also shares a technique on how to juggle a handshake, hors d’oeuvres, and beverage all in one smooth move.
Chapter 3: NETWORKING AS A CAREER MANAGEMENT TOOL
Sub-chapters: Why Network and Who Needs It | Focused Networking | Personal Styles of Networking | Cocktail and Event Receptions | Handling “Pet Peeve” Moments | Tracking to Keep Connections Viable | Review Quiz
- To explain the importance of setting goals for your networking efforts and following your plan.
- To familiarize you with the types and styles of networkers.
- To demonstrate the need for tracking, qualifying and following up on the connections you make.
Networking is like trying to cultivate a flower garden. You don’t just plant the seeds and then hover over them. Nor do you throw out a bunch of seeds and hope for all of them to sprout and grow. You create the conditions for their growth and take pleasure in watching them blossom. Then you continue to nurture them. Just as there is no such thing as one generic flower, there is no such thing as one generic network or networker. This is how you should approach networking.
This chapter guides you in learning how to focus your networking efforts, identify different personal styles of networking, and handle those “pet peeve” moments.
Chapter 4: PURSUE ONLINE OPTIONS INTELLIGENTLY
Sub-chapters: Getting Started with Online Networking | Guidelines from Social Media Consultant | Managing Your Online Reputation | Review Quiz
The objectives of this chapter are …
- To explain the importance of creating a strategy when using social media.
- To help you become comfortable with building your online presence and engaging prospects.
- To show you how to protect yourself by creating a best practices manual.
Social media is all about communicating by the written word. Therefore, do not underestimate the power of first impression “grammar.” Social media is powerful because it can open the door to real-life encounters or accomplish things when distance is the barrier. Learn everything about your social media options and then select the ones that make the most sense for you. Then, learn how to use them effectively and protect your reputation in the process.
Your social media profile is key! It’s your online identity and gives the visitor an overview of your persona, experience, and background.
Chapter 5: HOW TO START A NETWORKING EVENT OR GROUP
Sub-chapters: The Pros Approach | Network Mixers | Leads Club | Social Media Strategist | Creative Ways to Utilize Social Media | Review Quiz
The objectives of this chapter are …
- To provide you with the steps needed to start your own networking small group or event.
- To encourage you to take action.
- To introduce you to the live and online networking pros and show you how they created their empire.
Networking venues (offline or online) do not just happen. They are planned by dedicated and passionate people. This is how networking truly works! No matter how much time goes by, you pull people forward when the opportunity presents itself. You never forget the people who helped you, and you always keep them in mind for opportunities. It really is about paying it forward.
The pros highlighted in this chapter will take you step-by-step through their process to create a successful social media or in-person networking strategy.
Too often you can forget—or in a moment of frustration overlook—how valuable your networking efforts have become. A networking chart to help you reflect and record your progress is outlined in the final section of the book.