Networking means networking, where you concentrate your professional contacts and interact with them. Usually people build spreadsheets and lists with their contacts, but there is a much easier way to save them. With the ClickCard application you can have organized agendas for your contacts and all you have to do is scan them.
There are two very common terms, one being "network" and the other "networking". Networking is the creation of a network of contacts from the connection you have with other people, while networking is the relationship you have with them. To put it more clearly, while networking is the message, networking is the channel.
For your efforts in this area to be recognized, one of the main points of good networking is regularity. You must constantly remind your contacts that you are active, whether through social networks, e-mail, events, or a simple message, informal or not.
But you should not just send a message or create a post randomly, you need to have a goal and something to add to the conversation. You can get ideas through the common interests that you have with people.
In this case, try to innovate and bring through conversation, new ideas that your contact can benefit from in their daily lives. But don't be so obvious, try to update and inform yourself with innovative ideas
There are three levels of networking defined by the intimacy you have with your connections. They are
- Primary Network: composed of more personal contacts, such as family, friends, schoolmates and among others.
- Secondary Network: built with more formal connections, such as work colleagues.
- Reference Network: In this agenda you have those contacts with professionals you met at events, lectures, coffees. In other words, people who become role models because they have high knowledge and experience in the area they work in.
It is important to classify your contacts so that you know with whom and what to talk at the right time. To know how you should behave, initially you need to classify your contacts into some networking categories. Understand them better below.
Types of Networking
The universe of contacts is very wide, because each one lives in a different niche than the other. This generates low and high levels of rapprochement between individuals, because there are factors such as the purpose of the connection, the subjects and interests in common that generate a greater understanding.
In view of this, networking started to be categorized so that professionals can better understand the public they are going to relate to, as well as understand in advance if it is convenient to go to events focused on a certain theme.
But although there are different levels of connection, they all have the same principle: honesty. This is an important value to follow, because most of the time you will be communicating with professionals who understand the subject just like you or even more than you do. Pretending to be what you are not is a failure at this point. Experts know when they are talking to someone who is not what they say and does not understand what they are talking about.
That is why it is not advisable to lie and pretend to have knowledge beyond what you have for self-promotion. Be yourself and take advantage of the contact with other experts so that you can grow in your area and evolve with your business. Be sincere, because that way you generate credibility for what you represent to your new connections.
As treated before, the proximity of your connection defines the style of networking in which it is inserted in your contact agenda. In this same vein, we can include Personal Networking as one of the modalities, which focuses on the dissemination of a personal brand.
This social circle is more informal and is composed of people who share or have shared a time of your life with you, such as family members and schoolmates. But, it is not because there is a more personal contact that your networking should lose credibility or necessary formalities. You need to give the same attention and provide the same interaction for your goals to be realized.
It is from the interaction with these people that you will gain their empathy to share your work. Such sharing helps a lot, especially if it is done at the beginning of a business.
Professionals will look for connections that have new ideas and knowledge to advance their companies, and you should do the same with yours. Look for innovative people, who propose solutions to your problems and in order to increase the visibility of your brand.
How to activate your networking
As a first step to putting these ideas into practice, you should activate your contacts, organize your new and old ones. If you haven't kept up interaction with your old ones, seek a different approach to both.
Get back in touch with the people you already know, especially friends and colleagues from school or work. If they have something to add, add them as professional contacts for future conversations, meetings, and appointments. It is advisable not to make abrupt contacts. Come back to them little by little according to the receptivity you find and know how to interpret reciprocity to know if the interest is mutual.
In case you are at a loss for ideas on how to start, make them also notice you from the interactions made on social networks through feeds and stories. You can also start talking to them from your latest post, for example, as well as looking for events where these old connections will meet. This makes it easier to instill in them a desire to get in touch with you and have a reciprocal interest.
Although being present in all social networks is important, creating a LinkedIn account is primordial. When we talk about networking, there's no way we can't get into the subject the social network where professionals interact the most with each other.
Through LinkedIn you can cover topics related to your projects, work routine, and services in a more natural way. In addition, you receive instantaneous interactions from people who find themselves in your posts because they share the same experience. In this case, for the interaction between your contacts, LinkedIn will help you a lot to keep networking active and generate a closer relationship between you and your connections.
If you want to meet and start conversations that lead to more relevant topics, as covered in business networking, the first thing that should be defined is the purpose of that conversation. However, be open to cover topics beyond what you have planned, but always have a roadmap of what you can gain and benefit the other from that conversation.
Also try to be very responsive on digital media when serving customers, contacts, or just visitors. Because by generating a good first impression, the possibility of people coming back and referring your product becomes even greater.
Principles of communication
Although the first contact is easier through social networks, do not try to stay only there. Face-to-face contact allows a better reading of people's reactions and intentions, making the contact more positive for you and for the person you are getting in touch with. Staying only virtual can be stressful, and can also cool down the trust between you. In this case, try to be more flexible and remember that meeting your contacts should not be tiring, and if it is, try to review your communication strategies.
Verbal and body language
Be careful how you express yourself and how the other person does as well. You can dictate the mood of the conversation, making it very pleasant and comfortable if you dedicate your time only to the person, as well as showing empathy and always taking into consideration what they are saying.
Be open to discussion and new ideas. While something may seem obvious to you because of your day-to-day life, another person may not see it so clearly, but would be happy to hear more about and learn about other methodologies.
You don't need to agree with everything that another professional says, because it is in a verbal discussion that thoughts materialize and some make more sense than others. But if you disagree with an idea, just respect it and continue the conversation or add something for the person to think about later.
The first impression you give is very important and for this you should practice a good welcome. Try to practice your speech, posture, and study the way you dress. You don't need something sophisticated, but something that is natural and pleasant to listen to and to watch.
If you do your networking virtually, your approach should be done the same way, but through posts on social networks, blogs, interactions in stories, etc. During these publications, always leave your business card available so that they can have a direct contact.
The publications are sequenced by comments, reactions, and likes. From there you can exercise your networking by responding to them, but be aware of negative messages so that your image does not perish.
Show your evolutions
Be transparent with your connections, share innovations and ideas to save your and theirs. Publish about your services, publicize your values and the quality of your brand so that your contacts remember your product.
Frequent social events
Attend lectures, workshops, courses, cafés so that you meet people with the same goal as you and who are interested in the same subjects. First of all, list goals and professionals with whom you need to exchange ideas so you don't get lost at some point.
Don't forget to get business cards and share yours with people who can deepen the subjects started at the event. If possible, organize your contacts with photos so you can recognize them later in a future meeting.
Other subjects that will help improve your networking
Did you like the blog and want to know more about networking? ClickCard is an expert on the subject and has several blogs on the subject in which you can also suggest topics! To deepen your knowledge we have already talked about how often you should meet in person and virtually, how to create a digital business card for you to interact even more with your connections, the principles of networking and others.
To stay up to date, you can follow us on social networks and stay on top of the issues addressed in the blog as soon as it is published. If you want to innovate the face of your networking, you can access our application to generate a new digital business card.