To some, networking is physically going out to events, to others it’s staying connected online. For successful network’s, it’s a mix of both.
Networking is a process made up of greet, meet and communicate. Going to a networking event is a great way to meet new people, and it works, as long as you properly communicate with those you meet. Social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, to name a few, are great ways to communicate and stay in touch with the people, already in your network, and those new to your network.
High Touch is what I like to call the personal, one on one, opportunities you get to meet new contacts. A handshake, and look in the eye, is something that can only be exchanged personally and can never be replaced by a phone call, email or social media web site. Here’s a question to ponder. You’re driving home after working late, it’s 10:30 at night. As you’re driving your tire blows out. Outside of roadside assistance, do you call someone or send out a dozen emails and see who show up? Sounds silly, but the only person you will call is the person you have a close relationship with. Now let’s take that analogy to your business. You have a project you need to have done by the end of the week, do you make the call to the person you know is best suited to assist, or post it blindly on the web. The stronger the relationships you build, the stronger the bond is created.
High Tech is what I like to call a great form of communication. High tech is any kind of electronic communication including email, and social media web sites. After you have met your contact, and made your connection, invite them to look at your social media profile. If you don’t have one, create one. In today’s fast-moving world it is imperative to be active in social media. This gives your network the opportunity to see what you are doing and what you are all about. Let’s use LinkedIn as an example. Note, no preference intended, you can use whatever social media site that you like. Be sure your profile is up to date and accurate and invite your new contact to connect with you. You can also add your profile web site address to your email signature, so others in your network can connect with you as well.
People love information, so give it to them. We all have one thing in our businesses that we are passionate about. Start a discussion group and write about that topic once a week, this is a great way to let people know exactly how much you know about your business and also gently reminds them the reason why they should call on you and refer you when it come time that their need arises in using your services. Start your own Blog, there are many ways to do this for free. Look at the popularity of the very Blog host you are reading, WordPress. This is a great way to communicate and help strengthen your bond with your network. Many social media websites offer ways to connect on other sites. For instance, when you post something to LinkedIn, it gives you the option to also post it to Twitter. When you add a new Blog post, it gives you the option to connect it to other media sites as well.
When using the High Touch Meets High Tech method of networking, you will not only build a strong network, you will build strong bonds.
Next Week’s Networking Tip: Networking Your Network. Your Referral Pipeline.
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To see a short video clip go to http://youtu.be/7ZJABAaKCOw
Now you can Network to build your Net Wealth.
Yours in Success,
Thomas Camarda is a professional networker and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers Networking coaching, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group.
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