More terrific job hunting advice from Miss Pale Pink Coat of Pale Pink Coat PR. This is critical information to have as you network. The gist: stop thinking it’s all about you. It’s all about what you can do for someone else.
Networking has become the backbone to job searching these days. You’re going to networking events and using social media but nothing is happening. Are you networking correctly?
Let’s talk about your “I just attended a networking event” strategy. You’ve had a cocktail, meet a lot of people and collected a stack of business cards. Now what? Do not, under any circumstances, go home and email everyone your resume. I’M BEGGING YOU. Being an effective networker isn’t about you, it’s about the relationship you are building. Show your value and they will come, trust me.
This is my day-after-networking-event-strategy:
1.Organize all the business cards I’ve collected and enter them into my online database/address book.
2.Do a quick search to see if they are on Twitter and follow them if they are.
3.Email a note referencing the networking event and *something specific* we talked about. If a meeting or lunch was suggested during the introduction, I make a move to set that up.
4.Offer a link to an article related to something we spoke about and/or that might be of interest to them [this is the beginning of showing value to them].
5.Send an email to the organizer of the event and ask if he/she needs help organizing their next event, ask if they ever use speakers, etc. Make yourself a *resource for the organizer*.
6.Any new contacts that answer my day-after email within 24 hours, I’ll jump onto LinkedIn and ask them to connect.
Ten day strategy:
Hopefully within ten days, I’ve scheduled a few lunch or meetings with these new connections. If it’s a lunch, I approach it somewhat casually and only discuss business once they do. When I’m job searching, I do not bring up my background until asked. If they already know you’re looking for a job, they will ask. I know it’s frustrating when job searching that things don’t happen more quickly but you must be patient. During lunch, I’ll talk about things going on in our industry [in my case social media and the music industry] and more often or not these discussions will lead to another common connection. TIP: Do not name drop someone you do not actually know and/or someone who would not give you a glowing reference. Chances are the person you’re meeting with will call them and ask about you. Be authentic and put your best foot forward – yourself.
Within ten days, I may reach out to the networking organizer again and say, simply, “Is there anything I can do to help you?”. You’d be surprised how much this question can disarm people. “Is there anything I can do to help you?” is the backbone of effective networking. Don’t ask that question unless you mean it and are willing to follow through.
If any of my emails from the day-after batch have gone unanswered, I may try to figure out if I can connect that person within anyone else – again, adding value – by sharing my network with them [without them asking].
Example – I meet a busy PR person and send a follow up email but they don’t reply. Ten days out, I get an email from a friend who happens to be a stylist. Great. Let’s hook them up. Quick email to PR lady and cc Stylist saying “PR lady, It was great to meet you last week at the Unnamed Networking Event. I’d like to introduce you to Stylist. Stylist is a former colleague of mine and her work is incredible! She’s worked with Star, Star, Star. You two should definitely connect. Best Regards, Lisaann”. That’s it. I’ve offered PR lady some value and hopefully made a great introduction for my friend, Stylist.
That was great networking because it had nothing to do with me. PR lady sees that I don’t expect anything from her on a personal level but sees that I can add value to her network [and business]. People tend to shut down, in a networking sense, when they just think you WANT something from them.
Try this approach. You’ll be surprised how many genuine connections you get this way. I wouldn’t be surprised if PR lady calls me two months later and says “Hey, sorry I’ve been out of touch, we need to have lunch to discuss A Really Big Project.” Thing is, we were never really IN TOUCH because old me would have thought she blew me off. New me understands that this is true networking and results don’t happen overnight. And right here I’d jump back to #6 from the list and see if she’s on LinkedIn and offer to connect.
Show your value and the will come, trust me.
Give Miss Pale Pink Coat a shout!