The new year is all about fresh starts, clean slates, and all that jazz.
Some folks scrunch up their faces when you mention New Year’s resolutions, but I think it’s a wonderful time to set your intentions for the upcoming year. I prefer to call it goal setting and business planning, but that’s just semantics as far as I’m concerned.
So, did your “resolutions” or “goals” include networking in the new year? (please don’t tell me I’m the only “networking nerd” in the bunch — am I?)
If they did — good for you!
If they didn’t — no worries. There’s still time to add this valuable, absolutely crucial strategy to your mix.
The Myth of More
One thing I often hear from people as they set their networking goals is that they will “network more.” They have all sorts of plans to join more groups, attend more meetings, set up accounts on more social networking sites and “get out there more.”
Well, that’s where a good idea goes awry.
You see, simply networking “more” doesn’t necessarily get you anything more than — more tired, more broke and more frustrated. That’s no way to start the new year, is it?
Don’t just network MORE. Networking MORE sometimes just gets you more tired, more broke and more frustrated. Click To Tweet
So, I have a suggestion for you — actually, I have three. Instead of just networking “more”, try these this instead:
1. Let’s network more authentically.
Quite simply, be yourself. Be the wonderfully unique person that you already are and not some constructed version of who you think you need to be in order to be successful. Let your strengths shine, let your quirks out to play and relax. People want to talk to the “real you” — they really do!
2. Let’s network more strategically.
It’s time to network with purpose. We need to stop running around — both in person and online — going here and there and everywhere in the hopes that somehow, somewhere our networking will pay off. We need to start to think in terms of what our business goals are, what our personality and communication styles are and which venues and platforms make the most sense for us.
3. Let’s network more generously.
Focusing on connecting, listening and giving of your expertise and resources will ALWAYS, yes ALWAYS, generate better results. When you are only out to sell and to “get”, people will not trust you and may avoid you altogether. You have to prove that you actually care about others and their needs in order for them to want to trust you, help you and do business with you.
These are principles that I live by and that I incorporate into my own networking. I can tell you from experience that they make a HUGE difference in the results that I get — better connections, more referrals, higher quality clients, great advice and resources — just to name a few.
I encourage you to embrace a new way of networking in 2015 — and to enjoy the amazing results when you do!
What principles do YOU apply to your business networking? What works for you? Please share your thoughts below in the comments section.