In the online world it is easy to sneak around the edges, learning unobserved. But business networking is high touch — and that means participation. These guidelines insure networking success.
Join Three Different Types of Associations
There are 21 types of associations. Maximize networking time by choosing one weekly and two monthly groups. Plan to benefit in different ways from each of them: industry education, business referrals, community involvement, social recreation, personal growth and public relations are distinct and valid reasons for participation.
Be an Officer or Committee Member
It is possible to join and still lurk. Insure your networking success by serving in a visible position. You benefit when you show other members you are a reliable and responsible participant. Being the person responsible for calling visitors, or creating the agenda, or introducing the speaker means you will. Activity pays off in new business, which is why you joined.
- Show Lurkers how to Network
As a member, you know how difficult it can be to join a group in progress. That is often why we lurk. It can be your mission to make it easier for those who come in after you. Invite them to serve on your committee, introduce them to each other, share a link, schedule a 3-way lunch, hook them up with a prospective client, subscribe to their newsletter, pass on information, invite them to be your guest at another networking association.
Make a name for yourself: Networker.
Photo courtesy of Andy Lamb