Professional Networking Tip of the Week: If you’ll say you’ll follow up, do it

You just left a killer networking event. It seemed like you could help everyone you met and visa versa. The exchange of ideas and contacts happened for you tonight. As you are driving home you are making mental notes as to who you need to follow up with in the morning. Jeez, you must have spoken to about fifteen people at great length. Are you remembering everything you said you were going to do? Probably not. So what do you do? Drop it? Wait for them to contact you? Nope. Chances are, you just lost a lead to a really big deal.

Do you really want to take that chance?

Here’s the deal. Your reputation is on the line. If you want to develop the reputation that you are forgetful or fail to follow up, will you continue to be recommended by your piers? Develop some sot of system that helps you remember and works for you. At networking events, I have seen people make notes on the back of business cards, carry a small note pad or even use their smart phone to record a voice memo. Find something that works for you and make it part of your routine. Because if you say you’ll follow up, do it. Your network will appreciate you for it.

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Professional Networking Tip of the Week: Know Thy Self

Do you really know who you are? If someone asked you to describe yourself in less than 30 seconds what would you tell them? Right now, think about what you would say.

What did you come up with? If you said something that someone else had told you about yourself then you should take the deep dive your personality. Figure out what it is about you that helped them have that impression about you. There is a really easy way. Take a personality test! Personality test are a great way to gain better insight into who you are. Typically, these test help you put words to the things you do and make it easier to communicate the type of person you are. They especially help with developing online profiles, cover letters and when going to networking events.

There are some great free personality tests online you can take to get started with developing that powerful 30 second pitch about yourself. I visited 41Q.com. This free personality test asks you 41 questions where you chose the best of two options. At the conclusion of the test you will be presented with your personality type and a paragraph describing it. Also they will inform you about what types of careers these personality types fit best with. If you want to view an example you can view my results here.

In conclusion, knowing thy self will lead to a more confident you. That confidence will come out when meeting new people at networking events, job interviews, business meetings or even a date. It will help you stand up straighter and present a firmer hand shake. Imagine if just a few more people were confident about themselves. It would change our world.

 

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Professional Networking Tip of the Week: Be careful about revealing too much!

Professional and business networking can be really exciting. You’re getting out there and letting people know you exist and you’re marketing your business. In your mind your goal is to come across valuable to every person you meet. But what you don’t realize that you may be telling people too much information.

I have personally experienced with revealing too much information. I was having a discussion with someone that could be considered a competitor and didn’t realize that all the name dropping I was doing ended up inspiring him to attempt to replicate my work. Needless to say, I was really upset. At first, I was upset that the trust that I thought had been established was instantly broken. Then I realized that it was all MY fault. I’m the one that puked up my trade secrets! Now, I’m a lot more careful.

Remember that revealing too much information about your great idea, how you conduct business or that you are looking for a job even though you are still employed can be destructive. Also remember that there is a difference between first impressions and trust. Impressions are established within 30 seconds. Trust take a lot more time and definately more that you have at a networking event.

 

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Professional Networking Tip of the Week: Build visibility to raise your profile

Day in and day out you sit in a cube or behind a desk. You are known only by the people that you work with. Outside those concrete walls are hundreds of millions of people that have NO IDEA you exist. What you don’t know today is that tomorrow you are going to be fired and thrown out with a cardboard box filled with junk you collected to make yourself more comfortable at work. Once the shock and fear have settled in you will realize you’re not sure what to do. You end up falling in to the masses of people that have accepted their fate. It is not the fate of lossing your job. It is the fate of being part of the masses and never standing out.

Lets rewind and think back twelve months. The situation was a little different. Over the past twelve months you have been attending networking events on a regular basis. Usually once a month and sometimes twice. You have met an migled with hundreds of people and even created your own inner ciricle that have no resembelence to the people you work with. You have even connected with highly visible individuals through your generosity by offering assistance and not being asked. You have created a support network where people know you exist. So when you are let go tomorrow you have a network you can turn to.

Creating network partners and targeting specific individuals in an effort to build your support network will untimately build your visibility and raise your profile. If you show a little leadership and earn the respect of your network they will be there to help you in a time of need. You simply need to spend a little time connecting with people outside of work. Try to attend one networking event a month. You will be amazed at the opportunities you find out there.{jcomments on}

 

Professional Networking Tip of the Week: Remember What’s at Stake

Reputation is one of the most important attributes of professional networking. It takes much longer to build a good reputation than it does to create a bad one or destroy your own. You must remember that it’s not only your reputation your are building (or destroying), it is also your network’s reputation. Each of us has a small circle we turn to. How you conduct yourself reflects on your circle too. This holds true in just about all interpersonal interactions from attending a networking event to sending an email. If you are a jerk at a networking event or don’t take the time to create a relevant subject line in an email, you could potentially be harming yourself. Your actions reflect on your network, good or bad, so remember what’s at stake.

Professional Networking Tip of the Week: Have Courage

Without courage no one would take risks. Remember that your courage to take risks has a rippling effect that extends through your network and beyond. Courage is rewarding even when you experience failure. Have the courage to learn from your failures and chose to take those lessons with you so that the next risk you take is more successful than the last. There will be even more opportunities ahead of you that will test your courage so never give up.