Everybody agrees that networking plays a crucial part in our careers whether it is for finding a new job or a new client or just passing and sharing knowledge. However, not everybody is doing it right. If you want to network successfully and get noticed by the person you want to connect with, you should avoid the below mistakes.
1. Not Following Through: Networking is not about collecting business cards or adding people on LinkedIn. It is about building a relationship with the other person. Maybe you have 5000 contacts on LinkedIn but is this going to help you when you ask for help? Are these people going to remember you? People want to help you if they know, respect you or care about you. Therefore, don’t be just a name on a business card and follow up with people before you ask for their help.
2. Asking too Much too Soon: Remember that it is not all about you. Sometimes you need to give others a reason to connect with you. Therefore, you have to be patient before asking for help. You have to spend some time with them first and gain their respect. Then, you can talk what is on your mind, what you need and how they can help. However, don’t get discouraged if they say ‘no’. Instead, try to understand their concerns and offer to help them as well in return for their favor.
3. Failing to Give to Get: If you are trying to network with someone who is above you in status, the best way to get his/her attention is talking about how you can help them in an explicit and concise manner. Of course, you need to show that you researched about that person’s work and have carefully thought about your help offer. After you build a relationship by helping them and gain their respect, you can ask for their help in return.
4. Mistaking Personal Branding with Selling: It is good to talk about your skills and qualifications in order to impress the other person but don’t cross that fine line between personal branding and selling. Nobody likes a salesperson so don’t pitch your sales at the beginning. Instead, find ways where you two can connect. Afterwards, use your skills to help the other person and let them find out about your qualifications. In this way, they get to see your value and you are able to build a connection with them.