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Tag archives for networking strategy

Have you ever wondered if your networking activities are as effective as they could be? I think all of us who benefit from business and social relationships occasionally ask ourselves that question.One reason to be concerned is that good networking skills —– like good athletic or business skills — require study and practice. But we need more than “how to” skills — we need to know why we’re networking. In other words, we also need a networking strategy.

A book by two expert networkers covers both the “why” and “how” of online networking. The Virtual Handshake, by David Teten and Scott Allen, is an excellent guide for using a wide range of Internet tools and techniques to expand your network of contacts.

Networking Tools, Tips & Techniques

Much of the book contains a tremendous amount of information about using social software tools, such as!

  • Social networking sites (such as LinkedIn, Ryze, Ecademy)
  • Blogs
  • E-mail
  • Instant messaging
  • Discussion forums and lists

Creating A Networking Strategy

There are many reasons to network with other people, but I usually group them into three broad categories:

  • Business networking — Includes sales, business development, partnering, career advancement, etc,
  • Social Networking — Includes activities with friends, dating, etc,
  • Civic Networking — Includes volunteering and participating in civic activities and meetings, etc.

Each area requires a different strategy so that you can nurture the right relationships for each purpose.

In Part One of their book the authors describe the “Seven Keys to a Powerful Network:”

  • Your character
  • Your competence
  • Relevance of the people you know
  • Information you have about the people in your network
  • Strength of your Relationships
  • Number of people in your network
  • Diversity of the people in your network

What’s more, the authors have several chapters of practical advice on how to improve the quality of your network in each area.

These chapters are great to review monthly or quarterly to help keep your networking activities focused and on track.

Putting It All together

The Virtual Handshake is an excellent guide for anyone who is just getting started growing their contact network.If you’ve been online a while but are not yet reading blogs and using one of the profile Web sites, you’ll pick up a number of essential techniques, too,

Speaking of blogs, the authors have a very interesting and useful blog atwww.thevirtvualhandshake.com/blog where you can also learn more about their book.

 

Cliff Allen is the co-author of the book One-to-One Web Marketing; 2nd Ed., published by John Wiley & Sons., and is co-founder of SureToMeet.com.


 

After you have connected with a number of people who share a common interest, it’s a good time for you to host an event to bring these people together.


There are many types of events you can host, from round table discussion groups to larger community meetings with speakers and an opportunity to network.


Here’s a short checklist of the steps to preparing for an event:

  • Choose a topic to present on that you are familiar with
  • Choose a convenient location
  • Prepare an agenda and event description
  • Create a PowerPoint presentation and handouts
  • E-mail an announcement containing a link to the event description and RSVP form using SureToMeet.com


The types of events and locations include:

Type of Event Size Venue
Discussion group 5-7 people Restaurant with private dining room
Workshop teaching a skill 10-20 people Hotel or banquet/meeting facility
Speaker and networking 20+ people Hotel or company conference/training room
Conference with multiple speakers 100+ people Hotel, conference center, or resort


For small events you can draw upon your own network of contacts. However, for larger events you may want to partner with other presenters and send event announcements to people on each presenters’ contact list.


Becoming a public speaker and event organizer has several advantages beyond building a contact network. Speakers are frequently asked to consult on projects, join community task forces and committees, and be interviewed by the media. In addition, producing conferences and similar events can become a significant source of revenue and profit.

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