Networking Rx: You Can’t Tickle Yourself (EPS 043)
Networking is about bringing joy to others by giving to them. In this episode, Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections, shares how we can ensure that this networking giving has its biggest impact.
If you went to a networking event, grabbed a chair and sat along the wall, what would you expect to gain from the experience? A: NOTHING!!! To make the event work for you, you need to get out and interact with people. LinkedIn is much the same. You can expect nothing from it, unless you put something into it. You need to make active use of it. There are five basic active uses of LinkedIn. The first is the professional profile.
Just like when you head to the networking event, you need to not only be visible, but you need to put your best foot forward. On LinkedIn, you have the ability to create a profile for yourself. This is your face in the crowd at this online networking event. Be sure to take the time to present yourself well.
Note that this essentially is an electronic resume or brochure for you.
• Don’t be shy; add a picture
• Provide a short statement of not just your title, but the value you offer
• Give a 30-Second Commercial-like overview of what you are about
• List your work experience (listing anything that is reasonably relevant)
• Provide an overview of your education (as this will lend credibility to you as well as being a point of common experience or affiliation with others)
• Seek some recommendations on the work you have done for and with others
• List impressive achievements and other experiences that might not come through in your work history (such as professional designations, awards and recognition).
The great thing about this profile is that there is no limit to how often you can revise it. So feel free to keep it up to date with whatever you are doing, producing or reading. Allow people to know as much as reasonably possible about you.
Trust is one of the three quintessential elements of networking (Know-Like-Trust). As such, Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, gives us ideas on how to build and maintain trust in our networks.
Networking Rx: Terry Bean – Guest Interview (EPS 040)
Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, interviews Terry Bean, Mr. Networking in Detroit, founder of Motor City Connect and producer of TEDx Detroit.
Social media is a tool to help you network but it is not a replacement for networking. It is best analogized as a giant, ongoing, searchable networking event. Great! But the $64,000 question is “What Can It Do For Me?”
First, social media is an effective means of networking THROUGH to people. You can meet attorneys, bankers and those associated with employment transition. In short, social media is a great way to find and work through strategic partners who can lead you to clients. It is not geared for selling. Again, remember, it is just like a networking event and you would not dream of overtly hawking goods or services there, so do not do it here.
Second, social media is a wonderful way to position yourself in the hearts and minds of others, especially if you are new to a profession. Many of the people who know you, know you as someone else. Even if you have been in a particular profession for a long time, your online network might not fully appreciate what it means. LinkedIn provides you a platform to brand yourself as a knowledgeable and committed person in your profession (someone to know, like and trust). It will not do this over night, but in time you can create an expert of yourself on LinkedIn.
Finally, and likely of most interest, social media is a great means of creating opportunity. Through it, you can connect with people that can lead you to clients. Through it, you can find events that can lead you to clients. Through it, you can get information that can connect you to clients. Through it, clients can become aware of you and connect with you directly. It will not provide a windfall immediately; some days will be better than others. But over time the opportunities will be there.
Using boxing as an analogy, Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, shows how we can use simple closed ended questions to help move small talk along.
Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, interviews Brandon Clifford, president of Global Franchise Solution, a firm helping professionals find the right franchise opportunity.
Social Media As Compared To Traditional Networking
Everyone has been to a networking event … Business After-Hours, Open House or Tradeshow … A gathering of people with the ability to interact with each other. Do you know what? That is what social media is, nothing more than a networking event. It is just another networking event, EXCEPT for some important differences.
First, your average networking event might have a few hundred people all from a local area. Social media, however, boast having millions of people participating (and likely 100’s of thousands in your region) and they are scattered all over the world.
Second, most networking events operate on a particular day and time. If you happen to be busy during that day and time (say, Friday at 7:30 am), you are out of luck until the next event. With LinkedIn, however, this networking event is going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. During the big game you can participate in the event while you watch TV. If you can’t sleep, you can come online to the event. Even on Thanksgiving Day (or any other major holiday) you can be part of this continuously operating networking event.
Finally, when you walk into a networking event and see new faces, you cannot tell who is who. The guy in the suit could be a corporate executive or someone in transition. You just don’t know. If you are looking to network with attorneys, you generally find them via introduction or by trial and error. With social media (especially LinkedIn, in this instance), you can find the people you are looking for quickly and you can know a ton about them before you start to converse.
So approach social media as if it were just another networking event, but know that it also has the wonderful advantages of being worldwide and immense, continuously operating and rich with searchable information.
Networking Rx: The Networking Piggy Bank (EPS 037)
Using nickel-and-dime savings as an analogy, Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, illustrates that lots of little things add up and become something great in time.
Networking Rx: Chris Borja – Guest Interview (EPS 036)
Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, interviews Chris Borja, master connector and promoter of all things networking as well as the inspiration behind the Become A Better Networker program.