How Successful People Network
How successful people network
by Karin Singh 27/10/2017
How can it be that some people are so good at networking and actively use it in job hunting, while others would much rather hide behind the bush or their computer screen instead? In life, as well as in business, you will meet people who are more extroverts and others who are classified as introverts.
A lot has surely to do with your personality, but to some extent networking can be learnt. A career guidance counselor could give you some ideas on how you can improve in this area. Do also your own research. Find out what the best strategies are to succeed in creating, developing and maintaining relationships in an easy, quick, professional and (why not?) fun way. You have the power to make a change.
If you have the impression that getting some career counseling would help you to become more relaxed, approachable and social when interacting with others, give it a try!
My suggestions are these: read books about networking, watch educational videos about that topic, observe actively how others are networking on various occasions (in your personal as well as professional life), discuss with others how they do it, and last, but not least, go out there and use every opportunity to practice what you learnt. There is no better way to learn about networking, than to just do it. Find out by yourself what approach works well and what doesn’t work, and learn from your mistakes. Work on your own employee branding and challenge yourself by putting yourself out of your comfort zone.
What do successful networkers have in common?
There are lots of common characteristics that great networkers have. Many people, but also a career coach might tell you that: they show genuine interest in each other, they care about others in moments when it matters, they add value, they give first without asking something in return, they help and support each other, they make recommendations and they provide useful advice when you need it. In a nutshell, they invest time in each other in a productive and meaningful way. Remember the saying ‘It’s not just what you know, but often WHO you know that really matters?’
The bigger your network is, the more people you will have in your circle that you can rely on. When it comes to employee branding, it’s always useful to have people in your network from very different backgrounds. I learnt from my own experience that if you have the right connections, you will find it easier to find a new client, to get some free advice, to find a solution to a problem you never thought of before, to buy first time the right product, or to find a job thanks to a great career coach.
How many people do you have in your network, or do you know about, who can be described as GREAT NETWORKERS? And how do some more well-known people take care of their network to succeed?
Well, the first name that comes to my mind is “Sam Hurley“. Why? Because he doesn’t just talk about networking (or “engaging” as it is called in the online marketing world) but really applies what he preaches. Always with consistency, promptness, humour, honesty, kindness and commitment. That’s what many of his Twitter followers (currently 159,000) appreciate in him. It’s no surprise that his Twitter profile reads “People connector”, “Social Influencer” and much more.
If you have a relevant question, he will answer it. If you need advice, your chances are high that you will get it. If you want to conduct an interview with him, he is happy to answer it. He is not the guy with the big ego, but the one who is down-to-earth and is good in connecting with others, without having to know them personally. He is known for using lots of GIFs and emoticons (apart from great content) on his social media accounts and loves to engage and interact with his audience in a more diverse, fun and creative way. The feedback he often receives from his supporters and fans are truly amazing but he himself is a master in writing great feedbacks too, from which I could learn a lot!
Another example is Keith Ferrazzi, the book author of “Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success”. His secret to success is to never stop keeping track of your dream connections. He used to rip out lists in magazines of important people (e.g. Top CEOs) that he wanted to surround himself with.
His strategy sounds quite easy: Once you attend your next conference, take notes of all the keynote speakers. If you are reading industry-specific magazines, write down the names of all those people that are featured, discussed or quoted in it. If someone won an award, take notes again! Try to connect with them, compliment them and engage.
Let’s talk about Reid Hoffman, the Co-Founder of LinkedIn. His networking credo lies in helping other people. To do this the right and effective way, he strongly believes that one has to know the other person’s priorities, interests, struggles and values. Then he suggests to provide the person a small gift. Not a physical present, but something that can easily be given. For example, advice, introductions to influential professionals, relevant information etc. Just ask yourself “What would I have that the other person doesn’t have?” and then just give it and be happy that you made a difference to someone in your own little ways. You never know where a kind gesture might lead in the future.
The next example is Ivan Misner, he is the book author of “Networking for Pros”. His approach is always to do a lot of research before meeting someone he wants to build a relationship with. He looks for something that the professional is truly interested in (eg. hobby, sports, a side project, a charity, etc.) and uses that information for some meaningful conversations.
The last tip for successful networking: show your genuine interest in others. For example, find articles about topics other people care about and send it to them. They will always remember! However, if you feel you need some career advice to improve your networking skills, get in touch with those that you can find on Talentese!
Karin Schroeck-Singh’s passion lies in creating, translating and promoting content of high-quality in multiple languages (English, German, Italian). She holds an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and is the author of several ebooks. She gained more that 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Helping businesses to optimise their online presence is her priority, no client tr project is too big or too small for her.
Stop worrying. Start outsourcing! www.hirekarin.com
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