For people whose job depends on networking (and whose doesn't?) here are a few tips:
- Get the internet covered. Go ahead, make a profile on linkedin, jobster, start your own blog, or join a group blog. Sites like Linkedin and Jobster have high PageRanks, and people searching for topics related to your expertise area are more prone to finding you on web searches. Joining a group blog would be a faster way to get technorati authority. (Updated :read more on how to leverage your linkedin and jobster profiles, and also how to use Linkedin answers to showcase your expertise)
- Let yourself be found. You took care of finding yourself by point no. 1. But to help people make the next step make your phone number and email address be visible. Be sure not to link the mail id to guard against spam. And the phone number? Well, you have to realise that mailing is a lot more effort for people than dialling a phone or texting a message. Phone spam is not that rampant. My phone has been listed on the sidebar for quite some time, and hardly any spam has been generated because of that.
- Find a community to be passionate about. This holds true for both offline as well as online lives. Being passionate helps you to take more initiative and do more without expecting too much back. Building the community makes others realise your passions. Focus on what interests you, not what you desire.
- Get back to people. People will barge in to your time. Get ready mentally for it. Be polite. Ask them for what they need and get back. If you can't help them, the next best thing is to tell them who can, or where they can get to know it. Being a networker is much more being a connector than a maven. Though, being a maven helps !
- Ask for favors, too. When you need help (with business or personal life) your network will not automatically sense it and come rushing for your aid. You need to ask for help, and for me is very different than 'cold-calling'. You have helped people out, and can legitimately as them to return the favor.
- Don't judge people. In the world you might share some interests with people and disagree on other views. Let go of the temptation to convert them to your point of view, be aware of the logic bubble. Having a healthy disagreement is good to stretch your world view, and to get closer to the small world.
What are the networking tips that have worked for you?