How You Can Be More Successful At Networking

Last month Jennifer Robinson, founder of Purposeful Networking and President of Femcity Philadelphia joined our Her Corner partners at Carr Workplaces Friendship Heights. Jennifer presented on how women can be just as successful at networking as men and opened up by asking the women in the room what were some of the biggest challenges they faced when networking. She could relate and said her experience began not focused, not strategic and found some groups to be expensive.

Jennifer reinforced three key takeaways to improve personal networking:

1. Know Yourself – What kind of person are you? Do you like strict rules vs. no rules? What time of day do you network best? What’s your budget? Where are the events held, is that convents for you?

2. Select the Right Event – Outline your goals then join one industry group and one non-industry group.

3. Online Networking – This is a great way to start. On LinkedIn you can join up to 100 networking groups for free.

 

Inspired and motivated by Jennifer’s presentation, I followed up with her after the event to ask her a few questions.

Carr Workplaces: What is the biggest challenge women face compared to men when networking?

Jennifer: The biggest challenge women face is the need to form deep relationships.In many cases it is to their advantage to be strategic and more transactional with their network and women are not as comfortable asking for help from acquaintances. In addition, some women struggle with self-promotion which is so important to career advancement. You are your own best cheerleader. It is NOT bragging. I highly recommend reading Knowing Your Value written by Mika Brzezinski and article I wrote for the Huffington Post titled, “Are you Bragging Enough?“.

Carr Workplaces: For those of us still thinking about our New Years Resolutions, what is the best networking tip you can give to someone to take into 2018?

Jennifer: Networking is not unlike any other activity in that the degree of success is based on consistency of efforts. You need systems in place to prepare and to follow up in order to advance relationships and cultivate your network. As we enter the new year, think about a few changes you can make with your networking and marketing efforts. Here are my top 3 suggestions:

  • Make sure from a networking standpoint you are involved with at least one industry related and one non industry related organization. Schedule the dates of the events those organizations will hold in 2018 on your calendar now with the goal of attending at least 70-75% of the events.
  • If you need a new headshot, brochure, business card or other marketing materials do them now. Also update your LinkedIn profile and any profiles you have on other social media or through membership directories with your organizations.
  • Shop for some fun postcards, notecards and thank you cards to have on hand. I am a big advocate of old fashioned hand-written notes. People truly appreciate the effort. Don’t simply get cards made with your business logo or name. Select something more personal and whimsical. Make a goal of sending out 2 handwritten notes a week (or 1 if that is unrealistic for you).

Carr Workplaces would love to host your next speaker in one of our meeting rooms or event spaces. We have 25 locations across the country.

Related Posts