30 Aug The Art of Networking (Part 1)
Fall not only kick starts back to school for the kids but also marks the start of a renewed calendar of events from businesses and organizations. From happy hours to speaker series to galas, these are all opportunities to connect with your network and meet new people.
For me, the meaning of networking has evolved significantly throughout my career. Early in my professional life, I didn’t network at all. As LinkedIn become more prevalent, I was keeping in touch with many of my colleagues, but not actively or consciously focused on cultivating my network. It wasn’t until I left my role at Sonic and was actively looking for a job for the first time that I really felt the importance of networking. Although unintentional but lucky, I had been amassing an amazing network over the years. In fact, an enormous part of my current network is people I met or worked with during my time at Pepsi…and many of them have gone on to do other great things. Now that I have launched The Marketing Posse, my network is key to my business. The people that know me and have worked with me are the ones most likely to hire us. I landed my first large project with Clear Channel Outdoor as Interim CMO as a direct result of someone in my network; thank you, Matt!
Networking sometimes has a bad rap with the connotation of being superficial and a lot of “work.” In reality, it is the simple process of building relationships which is critical to growing any business. No man/woman is an island – and networking helps you not only get business but identify the right resources who can help you once you get the business.
I cannot over-emphasize the importance of networking, but how do you get started? Here are some tips that will lead to networking success throughout your career:
- Take time to keep in touch with people and nurture it – your network is a result of what you make of it…these are YOUR people.
- Don’t assume anything, you never know when you may need someone’s help or they may need yours! Networking is not a one-way street. The strongest relationships are the ones that are mutually beneficial.
- Stay current – LinkedIn is a really efficient way to stay in touch, so make sure your profile is up to date. Congratulating you on an anniversary for a job you are no longer in is a bummer.
- Always answer comments/emails/phone calls…always. No one likes to be blown off and they are reaching out, so reach back.
- Ask for help – most everyone wants to be supportive – take advantage of that and don’t be afraid to speak up when you need a recommendation or introductions.
At The Marketing Posse, we know how important connecting with the right people is. We thank our current network who has helped get our business where it is and our future network for helping us take it to the next level. We also offer workshops and training programs that are a great platform for networking and meeting new people. Come join us and expand your network! There is never a downside to meeting new people. Look out for Part 2 of this blog which will get down to the nitty gritty of “how to network”.