Finding networking inspiration in every day life...Go behind the scenes of business networking with Liz Lynch, Author, "102 Secrets to Smarter Networking" & Chief Networking Strategist, Center for Networking Excellence
The Stealth Networker blog has been quiet these last couple of weeks as my tech team grapples with moving it over to a new platform to blend more harmoniously with the new website launched just last week.
But I've been itching to write, so even though we don't have all the RSS feeds set up or all the old entries transferred, I've started posting to the new blog which has been rechristened "The Smart Networking Blog." Come visit us!
All of the posts and corresponding comments on this blog will be transferred soon, and for those of you who prefer to get blog feeds via email, please be patient with us as we get that set up.
Thanks for reading The Stealth Networker, and stay tuned for more content, more community and lots of great stuff in our new home.
You can plop down in front of the TV tomorrow and watch the lead-up to the 2nd presidential debate, or you can do something really useful for your business. Join me and Gil Effron (virtual marketing coach), Grace Niwa (PR maven), Ramon Gil (ad man) and moderator Sarah Chung as we discuss low cost (and sometimes free) methods for promoting sales in your small business.
Next week, I'm facilitating one of my signature interactive networking events for the Freelancers Union in Brooklyn. More structured than a networking mixer, more comfortable than speed networking, and more hands-on than your typical seminar, you’ll learn and apply the skills of a successful networker at this lively and fun event that always gets rave reviews.
With so much turmoil in the economic markets, if you're lucky so far to still have a job in the financial industry, you're probably concerned about when the other shoe will drop.
While it can be tempting to take cover and hope you'll survive the storm in one piece, you might consider using this time to bolster your position and try to emerge stronger than before.
If you've been out of the networking circuit for awhile, for example, start re-activating your network now, before you might need it. Connect with old colleagues or business partners over lunch. Attend a professional association event and build some new relationships. Polish up your elevator pitch.
Before you get out there, however, make sure you're mentally strong. Take some advice from executive coach Stefanie Smith who was interviewed by CNBC.com's Jospeh Pisani for his article Eight Ways to Prepare for a Layoff. She says that while you can't control the actions of the people around you, you can certainly control your own.
Roughly twice a year, I feel
an irresistible urge to stock up on women's magazines, so along with the
ingredients for last night's dinner, I picked up InStyle, O (The Oprah
Magazine), and Cosmo (but only for the cover lines which every copywriter says
I MUST study!)
In the September issue of O,
Oprah's editors lay out 10-minute plans for a wide range of activities from
working out to beating procrastination, eating better and jump-starting a goal.
you can find a little window each day to do something for yourself—and who doesn't
have 10 minutes?—whether it's doing yoga, meditating, or fixing a nutritious
lunch, you'll feel a difference that will make you want to pry another 10
minutes from your schedule. And then another. You see where we're going."
Could this work with networking?
Despite what you might
think, networking doesn't have to take a lot of time. You don't have to spend
hours and hours at networking events every week. Faced with the
prospect of committing such a big chunk of time in our already busy lives, many
people are tempted to forgo networking opportunities all together.
But even if you can't make
time to get to events regularly, there are little things you can do on a consistent
basis to keep your connections fresh, that don't take more than 10 minutes.
Here are a few ideas:
She proposes savvy alternatives to the standard "Since you are a person I trust..." default message that LinkedIn generates. I wish LinkedIn would replace that with "[please type your own message here, doofus]" to give people the hint that they need to do something more than click the "Send Invitation" button.
It really doesn't take much time to craft a personal message, yet more than 90% of the invitations I get stick with the default. What that says to me is that the person either didn't know how to change the message or didn't care to change the message. How does this lack of effort reflect on them and their willingness to invest in building a real relationship with me? Not well.
Too busy? Well I'm busy too. Why should I bother to click the invitation link, log into my LinkedIn account, read your profile and decide whether or not to accept, when it's faster for me to just hit the delete key?
I always personalize my invitations, both on LinkedIn and on Facebook, even when sending them to people I know. I take the time to tweak the default message, even if just to add "Hope you're well!" at the end. Now, thanks to Barbara, I have some great templates to follow when reaching out to brand new connections.
Check out Heather Huhman's excellent multi-part series on Examiner.com on how best to use networking in your job search. Her interviews with experts, including yours truly, include do's and don'ts of social networking sites, professional associations and making direct contact. Here's the link to Part 1:
For those who don't know, E.Factor is a place entrepreneurs can connect with other entrepreneurs both online (on their social networking platform) and in person (at their live events and in lounges opening up around the world -- already 2 in New York and 1 in Amsterdam).
On Mashable, Marion Freijsen and Adrie Reinders, two of the leaders behind E.Factor, write about the difference between being a connector and being a collector. What a great distinction.
There are those who network with the ultimate goal of quantity, who view gathering the most business cards and having the biggest Rolodex as the end of the process.
I've been a little quiet on the blog and e-zine this summer as I put the writing phase of Smart Networking to bed and start to ramp up on the marketing and promotion.
Writing a book about networking has been an amazing networking experience in itself as I've been able to connect and reconnect with people all over the world for advice, story contributions, and promotional partnerships. Stay tuned for articles, podcasts and interviews highlighting these fantastic individuals. They have a lot of great info to share.
If you haven't already done so, join my mailing list to be the first to hear about news, events and special offers related to the book launch on November 7.
Many people feel they have a book inside of them, but before you even think about putting your ideas to paper, you ought to learn some of the ins and outs of the publishing processFIRST so you can approach it in the most productive way.
Rick and his team have an action packed two-day program this time and I'm excited about what they have in store for you. Their last event in Los Angeles was a tremendous success, and they expect this event to sell out. (check out the testimonials from some of their thrilled attendees on the website...)
They've assembled a great panel of editors, agents and publishers who want to meet you - and share with you what it takes to be a successful author. Program presenters include:
Mark Victor Hansen
Robyn Freedman Spizman
Their goal is to get you published, to show you how to sell and promote your book after its published and, to help you leverage it to make your business more profitable! Make sure you bring paper for notes... there'll be lots of great ideas and tactics that you'll want to hold on to and use. This two-day seminar will get you on your way.
The tuition for both days is only $399. So sign up today - and take advantage of their money-back guarantee. Seating is very limited...
As the NY Post wrote in its review yesterday: Loneliness "leaves its sufferer unable to read micro-expressions or react properly to social cues - so the more desperate one is to connect, that desperation, coupled with a fear of rejection verging on paranoia, pushes others away."
In other words, the longer you put off connecting with others, the longer you feel you don’t need to, and the less prepared and able you are to act appropriately when the need does arise (and it will!). It becomes a vicious circle.
Perhaps the first step towards overcoming an apathy for making new connections is to imagine the possibilities. As the Post writes, "One of Cacioppo's favorite metaphors is 'the idea of the solitary computer vs. the Internet.' The former seems adequate until you're exposed to the latter, so highly superior because of its ability to connect."
Next, try different ways of connecting. Facebook is a great place to meet new people with similar interests, without the time commitment of constantly traveling to networking events and working the room. By the way, if we're not already connected on Facebook, click here to add me. I’d love to network with you there.
Bottom line, we all need a support system we can turn to for help and advice. We can’t do it alone. And we don't want to end up as recluses with no one around but the 97 cats who live with us. Because when push comes to shove, you know they'll never lift a paw to help.
When I heard from Chris Brogan that today was BlogDay, a day "dedicated to getting to know other bloggers from other countries and areas of interest" by posting recommendations for five blogs that readers might not know about, I just had to jump in.
I admit I don't read as many blogs as I should, but this whole exercise reinforced for me how important a blog is for networking. They provide a window into people's passions and expertise, allowing you to connect with them on a deeper level than you could just by visiting their website which is often more promotional than personal.
BlogDay is not only a great way to find cool new people to network with, but it's also a great way to spread the word about them (another key element of networking!). So, here are my top 5 picks:
Stuck in Customs: Unique Photography for Unique People: Though I LOVE to travel, I don't follow any travel blogs, so when I stumbled on this site during my research, I was blown away. Stunning photography from places all over the world taken by Trey Ratcliff. You really feel like you're there. Wow!
The Happiness Project: I'm a naturally happy and upbeat person myself, but if you aren't, Gretchen Rubin, best-selling author and a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, posts tips to tickle your happiness gene every Wednesday.