Networking Tips to Start 2011 – #4

1 02 2011

Networking Tip #4

Target People and Companies

Whether you are networking to establish new relationships for the future, in the midst of an active job search, or looking to develop new business, targeting people and companies of interest is an important part of your effective networking process.

Be Strategic:

Identify the types of people with whom you would like to connect – e.g., they share common interests, they work in your field, they work at companies of interest, they are excellent sources of helpful information and/or advice, they are influential people, they are connected to others of interest, or other.  Identify the companies that are of interest to you, whether for potential job opportunities (remember the “hidden job market”) or for prospects for new business.

Leverage your Existing Network and Social Networking Tools:

Start with your existing network and utilize the social networking tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  Look to see who your connections are connected to, and ask your connections to help facilitate introductions.  (I have started new relationships with a number of realtors who were connected to my direct LinkedIn connections.)  Also, if you are comfortable making “cold calls”, reach out to people of interest by phone or email, let them know how and why you found them, and begin to establish a rapport.  Remember not to focus on a job search or try to sell your products and services.

Comment, Share, Add Value and Gain Visibility:

Make quality comments on others’ posts to show support and gain visibility.  Follow people and companies on Twitter and comment on and share their Tweets.  Follow companies on LinkedIn and Facebook.  Share quality articles and posts from others (including yourself, if applicable).  Follow companies to learn more about their business and what they are doing.  Look for opportunities to help others as this is the basis for establishing quality reciprocal relationships.  Add value to your relationships.

I have established relationships, through my connections and social networking tools, with people I didn’t previously know, and we have found common interests and the desire to help and promote one another.

Please read my other blog posts to learn more:

Networking Tips for 2011 (starting with #1)

Finding the Hidden Job Market

How LinkedIn Started a New Friendship

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