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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Networking on a limited schedule

Don't give up networking just yet! Although it may not seem like it sometimes, it is possible to squeeze networking in with all the other demands on your time. My new friend Debra Helwig discovered this fabulous blog post written by Marny Lifshen, a communications consultant. Lifshen shares some great tips for networking on a limited schedule. To read the complete post, click here.
1. Choose the one organization that is the most relevant to your career or industry and be an active member. Most organizations only have one meeting per month, so commit to attend that. Take advantage of these events to meet new people and strengthen relationships with existing contacts.
2. Hold meetings - coffee or lunch work fine - two times per month with important contacts. Review your rolodex/database regularly to make sure you're not overlooking people you haven't seen in a while. You don't have to have a specific agenda beyond building/maintaining your relationship.
3. Identify the 2-3 key events in your community or industry and commit to attend per year. It doesn't matter whether it's a black-tie awards gala or a two day software conference - figure out which events are critical for you to attend, and put them on your schedule.
4. Try combining multiple meetings into one. If there are three or four people with whom you have been meaning to meet, ask yourself if you could schedule one luncheon with them all. If they don't already know each other, perhaps they should!
5. Proactively contact at least 2 people in your network per week via email, phone calls or hand-written notes. You don't have to be face-to-face to keep relationships intact.
6. Begin networking online - online communities can be a great source of information, advice and contacts and nearly every profession and industry have one or more online communities. And, this networking can be done outside of traditional business hours, which helps free up your daytime schedule.


Anonymous Selfmademom said...

This is great, thanks for posting. I struggle with how to find time to network. It just doesn't fit into the routine, but yet, it's so important.

11:23 AM  
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