The time to start networking, locally and online, is immediately. The frequency is as often as possible.

Maintain your network over the course of your life. As you age and transition to various phases in your life you will have created over time a broad and diverse networking group. Maintain the connection even if you retire. You may not be as active in some areas as you once were but find a way to reach out. As your lifestyle changes, so will your field of interests. I look to stay in touch and updated with connections in business via phone, email, the occasional written card or note, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other online social media. Twitter is a great place to have a quick conversation.

Create a personal brand for yourself that incorporates your business, passions, and interests. You already have one so identify it and decide if it is the one you want to grow and expand, or determine to create a different one. Start by writing down how you see yourself and ask others how they see you. Compare the two and make adjustments to your brand as you see fit. Take pains to not destroy your brand by engaging in unethical, aberrant, or criminal behavior. It may take years to recover your reputation. Remember, what goes on the internet stays on the internet!

Map your network. Most of us have better networks than we think. If you have ever applied for a sales position, you already know how this works. You are asked who your immediate “warm market” is. Start with family, then friends, then extended family, then school, then jobs, etc.

Next, pick out the people you have identified and look to see who is in their network. Now identify who you may want to connect with and go from there. Facebook is an excellent example of this strategy. Serious entrepreneurs who build and maintain great Facebook profiles make it a point to connect with other entrepreneurs. A lot of great partnerships and products have come from people connecting on Facebook!

Third, network daily. For example I reach out to clients, colleagues, friends, and people of like interests daily. Many times I use a social networking media such as LinkedIn or Facebook but also I make it a practice to try and attend industry events in my field as often as possible.

There are many articles related to professional networking at Monster.com you may find interesting. Below are just a couple. Do yourself a big favor and visit many of the legit job sites such as this one they tend to have a great deal of useful information for free.

Social Networking Online

Broadening Your Network

Create a Personal Networking Plan

Remember to be an effective networker you need an active system. Having a stack of cards with a rubber band around them may look impressive to the uniformed but is a signal that you are letting opportunity go to waste. You can’t remember all of the people in the deck and they most likely won’t remember you. Be smart, get organized, make a plan, and stay connected. Utilize online social networking to meet people you would otherwise not have the opportunity to meet. It is a wonderful tool and one that should not be neglected.

© 2009 THJ & Associates, LLC

 

 

Theodore Henderson, DTM – Distinguished Toastmaster

Theodore is a business coach who transforms the business lives of
individuals who want to use biblical principles and Christian faith as a
guide of success for all of the key areas of their life; spiritual, social,
personal, family, and business. He is passionate about speech and
communication and the application of biblical principals to business and
personal success.

Theodore is a Distinguished Toastmaster who
leverages his dynamic corporate background to help clients identify and
target their niche, discover how to make bold, dramatic shifts in their
entrepreneurial life by building a bridge from where they are today to where
they want to go.

Find Theodore on the web at
rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=”http://ezinemark.com/goto.php?url=http://theodorehenderson.com” target=”_blank”>Theodore
Henderson.com and
target=”_blank”>The Wisdom Compass

 

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