I consider myself a pretty good networker. I networked through college and once I arrived in San Diego. It’s one of the reasons I got such good internships in college (as good as you can get outside of NY and DC anyway) and one of the reasons I was able to work for myself right after graduation.
I feel like networking is the most important tool for success. (I’ll report back on that once I’m successful.) You can be the best writer but if no one reads your words you’ll never see success. So, you can be good at something but to be successful you need networking. Makes sense right?
Here are a few of my networking commandments and I’d like for you to share yours in the comments.
Thou shall care about others
When I first moved to San Diego and started attending networking events I hated the fact that most people seemed to only care about themselves and never asked questions. If they did ask a question I could tell they weren’t listening or they only asked to plug a service.
Behavior like that completely turns genuine people off and if the person you’re networking with isn’t genuine they aren’t going to care about what you’re saying anyway unless they can benefit. Networking should be about building relationships not talking exclusively about yourself.
Be present during each conversation when networking.
Thou shall connect with people routinely
If you meet someone and you click you should do more beyond giving them your business card. You should try to set up a meeting with them or a coffee date. If they live in a different place you should connect with them over social media and email. A connection that only touches the surface won’t help you in the long run. Creating relationships is how you get referred and how you build friendships.
Thou shall add value to get value
I think this similar to the first point because it means you can’t be all about yourself. Think of ways you can help the other person. You may be able to enrich their lives, their business or their blog in some way. Think about that before thinking about what you can get from them. At the very least do it while thinking of what you can get from them.
What would you add?