The Power of Networking
When was the last time you met someone new? Someone who inspired, excited and could help you. When was the last time someone met you, and would have told others about you?
Take two people. One is a marketing executive who has worked faithfully and competently in the same advertising agency for the last 15 years. He works hard, does a good job and knows his stuff. He tends to arrive at work at 08.00 and leaves around 19.00. Because most of his work is internal very few people outside the organisation know him professionally. He has a LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook account with a few of his colleagues on, but finds it a bit of a drain on his time and energy. He wants to get his job done well. He’s got his business cards but he never really needs them and to be honest he’s probably given 6 out in the last year.
Then take person number two. She’s about to graduate and is bursting to get going. She has a strong Twitter, Linked In and Facebook presence and has a natural ease with people. She publishes an online blog, oozes confidence, and loves to meet new people. At a networking meeting she’s busy working the room, handing out her business cards, whilst listening to the needs of those she mets. She takes interest in people’s challenges, and gives intelligent responses. Not only is she affable, but she carries authority and seems credible. Although she’s still naive and just out of college, her passion and presence enables her to meet people and these people are keen to work with her. She’s not shy, some could say a little too confident, but she’s generous with people. Walking out the door with 15 business cards, 8 meetings already set up, and 3 loose commitments of work, she’s confused why everyone is stressing about the economy. Setting up a business is not nearly as tough as her lecturers said it would be.
May seem unfair that someone’s communication skills make so much difference.
It’s increasingly possible to get to meet new people, and know almost anyone now, but some people feel it may be awkward to try to put themselves out there. May feel clumsy, may feel like you’re stalking someone, may make an idiot of yourself. But you’ve got little to lose by introducing yourself and getting stuck into building connections and relationships.
So start with me.
Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to reply to you. What does the word networking conjure up for you? Does it fill you with excitement, boredom or fear and dread? I’d love to hear from you.