…there is no try. Especially in that most dreaded of pursuits…Networking!
But now it’s even trickier to navigate the murky world of Networking, as we’re all stuck inside or at home, communicating through laptop screens and webcams.
So what can you do to make the most of those interactions? Especially when you’re feeling under pressure, anxious or stressed (or all of the above).
Here are some tips and tricks – a sort of Do’s and Don’ts selection…
- Think about your goal – do you want to find your next job, work on your career and personal brand, keep in touch with your customers until business improves, explore ways to pivot or just meet new people?
- Write those goal(s) down. What do you want/need to achieve?
- Make a list of the top 20 contacts in your network that can help you achieve that.
- Prepare a basic communication plan – some templated messaging and ways that you will interact
- Personalise each message or reach-out note you send.
- Be helpful – think about what those 20 people need help with now and how you can help their communities and/or the people they know.
- Offer some free services or resources. Or free time/volunteering.
- Reach out to people you haven’t been in touch with for a long time, or those who may be struggling.
- When you ask for help be very specific and make it easy for the receiver of the message to know what they must do.
- Dress appropriately for any video call – check your lighting and background.
- Read Peter Longhurst’s book “A simple Thank You” – the power of a personal, written letter is still very strong.
NOT to DO
- Don’t be too pushy or ‘salesy’ – there is a big backlash against this at the moment.
- Don’t overdo it! – know when to keep it brief, and when to stop. People will tire of endless messages easily
- Avoid sending out blanket emails or messages.
- Don’t do exactly the same as everyone else. Think of ways to be different. BE YOU.
- Don’t use only one channel. Mix it up.
- Be careful not to upset people with your strong views – this is a sensitive and stressful time for many people.
- Avoid politics, religion or beliefs; wear them by all means, but not on your sleeves.
- No bullying or harassment EVER.
- Negatively commenting on someone else’s post hurts you far more than it will hurt them.
- Try not to take your frustration out on others.
- Avoid the use text speak unless you know the recipient very well – think about what you are writing or saying.
- Don’t forget – AIM to be Authentic, Interesting & Meaningful
Write like Shakespeare, think like Oscar Wylde, dress like Tom Ford helped you…whatever your personality – go with that.
With these simple guidelines, and some brushing up on your letter-writing skills, you’ll be a whizz in no time. Remember, we’re all in the same isolation boat, so everyone is having to figure it out.
Making it look easy, will help you shine brighter.