Effective Networking: Start local and build.

Posted: June 12, 2014 in Effective Networking, Gift of Connection Project
Tags: , ,

When networking, there’s a temptation to shoot for “out of reach” connections. What do I mean by out of reach? People you have never met that are long distance, have some form of national or local notoriety, or know these people. There are cases where this works out but as a general rule, people that you can’t meet in person on occasion, are famous or know famous people are guarded because they’ve had bad experiences with people having ulterior motives and trying to take advantage of their resources.

Before I understood this principle, I used to make this mistake because trying to connect with affluent people is an attractive option. Just meeting one person with significant influence would take away the hard work of building a network, because that one person could potentially transform my life. I had to learn for myself that trying to take this shortcut rarely gets results.

I’ve lived in Houston, TX for seven years and I’ve been steadily developing a network in the specific areas that I will need for this Gift of Connection project which are mental health professionals, media production, and public relations connections. The takeaway is this, put your energy into starting local first then expand as needed. When you are networking during social activities or online, you increase your chances of success when you are forming connections with local people that you have the potential to meet with in person. As I have stated before, creating rapport and trust happens naturally and over time.

Secondly, start building connections in different sectors that you may need. For instance, if you want to start a business, it would be beneficial to start assembling a network with colleagues in your field, legal, financial, marketing, and social media connections before you launch the business. Making the investment to build your network will pay off when your efforts have the necessary support to be successful.

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