We all know that networking is important. From an early age we hear that it’s all about who you know and obviously the more people we meet the greater our network is and the more
opportunity we have to find the right partner, client, or employer. But, for so many people, networking is awkward. It can feel painful, forced, fake — totally uncomfortable. So what we are going to talk about in this video is how you can build strong professional connections while making networking feel more comfortable for you. Here are the four tips: The first is to partner with a master. Plan to go to a networking event with somebody who’s really outgoing and social. And this can make it so much easier for
you. They can help you get into conversations, move on to new conversations. You can also learn from them so study them. What do they do that works and adapt it to your personality. Second, you want to think about listen, learn, and respond. When you’re talking to somebody avoid the tendency to flip it around and talk about you. Instead, dig deeper and find out more about them. This has two advantages: First, you get to listen for any commonalities. She went to UC Davis. I went to UC Davis. When it’s my turn to speak, I can mention that and then immediately we have a bond. And, secondly, it allows you to be more strategic in the information you share. You can make sure that what you are going to share is relevant to their job and their interests. Really important to listen. You also look like a thoughtful person. People really like it when you take an interest in them. So, let’s say you are talking to somebody for a while and you’re starting to feel anxious like I’ve got to move on and work the room. Don’t. Remember: it’s quality not quantity. You’re better off at an event making two solid connections and exchanging business
cards over making ten superficial connections. Also keep this mantra ‘quality over quantity’ in mind just in general when networking. let’s say you want to join an organization.
At the beginning cast a wide net, go to a whole bunch of different ones. And then quickly choose one or two that you really want to become involved with. Go all the time, volunteer, and you will find that it’s much more fun to network when people know you and you are regular. For example, in my 20s I belonged to a running club in San Francisco. It was really fun. I had no expectations from this club. But I really liked it a lot. I became involved. And years later when I started my business, these people from the running club were really willing to help me. And a lot of my business connections actually came from introductions from that running club. So quality over quantity is really important. Finally, one of the most effective networking tools that you can use and it doesn’t even require you to leave the home is Social Media. primarily you want to think about using LinkedIn. And many you might already have a LinkedIn page but are you fully taking advantage of all and networking opportunities that this site offers. Some of the things you want to think about are having a great photo — it’s really important that people see your face, make sure your skills are on there so people can endorse you, that your description of what you do is edited and looks really great and also it’s a great idea to have some recommendations on there. So reach out to former colleagues or bosses and ask if they will write a recommendation for you. And you can offer to do the same for them. In summary, the four tips to build better connections while making it comfortable for you are…