Imagine you were setting out to network with people today. Let’s do the math. If you allot 30 minutes to connect with someone (imagine ordering a coffee or making it through a parking lot, building and a receptionist – none of these activities all in all can be done in less than 30 minutes each). Then factor in travel time. How many people would you be able to connect with today?
No. I’m not oblivious to social media. Even then, imagine you’re attending a twitter chat, connecting with people afterwards on Twitter or another social network. How many people can you meet, connect with and really converse with in one day?
And, even though each person on Facebook is said to have, on average, 229 friends, there are less people that we actually influence even when we are well connected online.
When you make networking with others a “do it yourself endeavor” we lose the exponential benefits of other people’s influence and other people’s credibility.
When we can borrow from another’s credibility (which is essentially what happens when someone edifies you as they introduce you to a connection of theirs), we meet at an elevated level of know, like and trust which shortens the time necessary for them to sample our character and competence.
Review these tips and insights to help you shorten the connection process and make friends and influence people:
- From Now On, I’m Going to Be A Dick To Everyone I Meet Online
- 7 Things You Can Get Out of LinkedIn Groups When You Get Into ‘Em
- Business Etiquette: Overcoming Minglephobia or Fear of Networking
- Networking for Success
- Waah! I’m Not Getting Any Referrals!
When you’ve taught your connections the best way to connect, describe and refer you, you develop a synergy that creates powerful introductions and referrals.
Here’s how to do this – develop a one page document and in it outline:
- Your goals and objectives for the year
- Who you serve best (your target market/client)
- Where to find this “best client” in large numbers (associations, conferences, events)
- What are some of the key phrases or comments someone will say that identify them as a great connection for you.
- Describe the best way to introduce you
- Make sure to have all your contact information starting with the first (and best) way to reach you.
For example, this is what my Networking Document would look like:
Goals and Objectives: To develop a solid base of email newsletter clients (10 new clients each month)
Target Client: Realtors, Restaurants and Renegades (Definition of renegade: solopreneur, independent professional, inventor, author, entrepreneur)
Where to Find them:
Realtors: Board of Realtor functions, Chamber of Commerce events
Restaurants: Chamber of Commerce special events, charity gourmet galas
Renegades: Chambers of Commerce, SBA or SBDC events, blogs and Twitter chats
Key Phrases and Comments: I can’t get any results from social media; What are you using to send out emails?; I don’t know if anyone’s opening or really reading our newsletter
Best Way to Introduce: A virtual introduction via email sent to both of us; Or, provide their email address and please call ahead to them about me and to expect an email from me.
For more on how to maximize and develop your own brand advocates, click here.