I write about networking often (See: Dressing for a Summer of Networking, Friends and Colleagues: We Need Them Both,) because I recognize that to do it well and be successful takes can take more effort than we think. Since networking is really “relationship building,” to be effective means you must have an arsenal of activities at your disposal. So, How to Network in 10 (Somewhat) Easy Steps, provides you with a brief list of things you can do, or prepare to do to maximize and relationships in ways that are mutually beneficial.
This list features both virtual and offline networking activities. And as an added bonus, (and an illustration of how to network virtually) much of this list is generated from this LinkedIn question:
1. Participate in online networking events. Consider those that facilitate discussion among attendees. — Christine Hueber.
2. Gather data or feedback. Create a group or join one of the many available on LinkedIn. —Natalie Kyaergaard
3. Be a resource person. Connect people with resources and resources with people whenever you can. — Caitlin Weekley.
4. Join professional organizations. — Cassie Wallace.
5. Interact with people everywhere you are. Every opportunity is a networking opportunity online and offline. — John Zadikian.
6. Network with a purpose or goal. Don’t just go to go. — Richard Kirby
7. Create relationships across social media networks. Invite a few Facebook friends to connect on LinkedIn, or follow your LinkedIn associates n Twitter. — Erika Pryor.
8. Volunteer your time. Join on an organizing committee, participate in a leadership development program, or community advisory group. Any of these opportunities can extend your knowledge and networks. — Erika Pryor.
10. Do FREE often. Make a habit out of seeking free or low cost events. Networking takes time, so try to save your financial resources when possible. — Erika Pryor.
I realize all of these activities are not “easy,” but they are possible. Some take a little prior planning, while others can be executed right away. The goal is to go about networking with an explicit purpose and set of goals from which to work. What would you add to this list? I added links to many of the LinkedIn discussion participants. Consider reaching out to them and using this piece as a conversation starter? (Every opportunity is a networking opportunity!)
To review the full discussion as it unfolded on LinkedIn see: http://bit.ly/LINetworkingQuestion