Networking is a major part of my new business strategy. It comes in lots of forms – participation in industry events, volunteering with organizations I’m passionate about and of course, the “meet for coffee” meetings that happen several times a month. I am often the one initiating those coffee meetings and am on the receiving end of the invitation just as much.
A post from Harvard Business Review popped up recently that talked about successful networking. The author, Dorie Clark, related it to the concept of inbound marketing. Successful inbound marketers create content that is available to its target audiences and utilizes that content as a way to establish relationships with new business prospects.
She recommends applying a similar approach to networking, referring to it as inbound networking. Here are her three ideas:
Translation – become the person people want to network with because you have something in common with them, are an expert in something (and not necessarily what you do for a living) and you are available to create an environment for others to network within.
According to Clark, “the world is competing for the attention of the most successful people . If you want to meet them — and break through and build a lasting connection — the best strategy is to make them come to you. Identifying what’s uniquely interesting about you and becoming a connoisseur and a hub are techniques that will ensure you’re sought after by the people you’d most like to know.”
Now, who do you want to meet and how are you going to do it?