DO's and DON'TsSubscribe
I'll give it a try (see, I'm truly a big fan of my own questions):
- always set goals for networking
- have a clear way to measure the results of your networking activity, just like you would measure the results of other marketing tactics
- do a bit of research before joining networking groups, ask your friends, see which networks are best for you
- a networking website is not the same thing as having a personal blog
- include networking in your marketing mix -- don't rely solely on networking for results
- - have fun, make a couple of good friends along the way
- don't become addicted to this activity
- don't forget to measure the results
- don't listen to everybody who has an opinion about networking (), always think about what you read and hear and chose what's best for yourself
I don't really know yet... still trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. What I do know is that I am keeping a list of what I'm doing and tallying up what works... then after a couple of months I can mark off things that aren't working and stop wasting time. (Unless its something really fun)
One thing I am implementing is to give my card out to EVERYONE. I don't care if its the dude who makes my coffee or the lady who polishes my toes... they all get a couple of my cards. I give them to the parents when my kids go on a playdate (for my number, ya know?).
I think building relationships with networking has been the best practice for me. Really getting to know people and to reach out and do something for them first.
Also, reaching out to your personal network that already knows you- friends and family. You never know what can happen. My husbands childhood friend is the sister in law to an important person in a very large healtcare company who introduced me to another gentleman who got me a gigantic corporate wellness account. It's amazing how well networking can work!
I went to vistaprint.com and got an order of 250 business cards for free. They have a bunch of good designs, too! I put my name, address, phone, and personal email on it, as well as the URL for my freelancing website. I hand those out to everyone instead of scribbling my name and number down on a post it -- since my freelancing work is separate from my full-time gig, it makes sense to treat it like its own entity and have different business cards for it, too... of course, I use my fulltime work cards for fulltime work related things, but it's nice to have a personal card to hand out when I need to.
I also keep my Linkedin and Facebook accounts up to date. LinkedIn is primarily business, but facebook is friends and family. I've ended up with some great contacts and story ideas from both!