Fellow Veterans and Service Members,
I served as a Marine from 2000-2006 and now I work as part of the G.I. Jobs Team to serve you!!
The “Golden Ticket of Networking” is genuinely focusing on how you can assist those professionals that you’re networking with in order to build a relationship that can truly matter. There is no faster, more efficient, or more powerful way of earning likability and trust; this can open doors that allow career opportunities to manifest.
The best advice I could give you about networking is to be strategic before reaching out to those with whom you’d like to connect. There’s nothing wrong with casting a wide net and interacting with a broad professional network. That being said, be prepared for meaningful dialogue no matter how simple at first and make sure you have sincere interest in his or her experience and background.
Let’s get started!
1.) Targeted Networking
- Determine the Who, What, Where, and Why behind the niche network that you want to build.
- Develop a segmented networking list of these targeted professionals.
- Follow them on all social media channels.
- Arrange exploratory & mentorship conversations with them over the phone and/or Skype.
- Meet in person if at all possible: Coffee or Lunch.
- Make a follow-up plan to stay in contact with them: Email, Phone, F2F.
2.) Have a Social Media Strategy
- Develop checklist plan with goals and follow it.
- Post Daily.
- Set aside 30 minutes a day to review the latest posts and comment on others.
- Schedule a time to set messages and reply daily. Try to respond within 30 mins.
- Use a Social Media Management tool to help you develop networking content pools for easy replies. I recommend using Hootsuite where you can save streams for easy monitoring. I like it because it keeps all communication in one place for easy review.
- Use a branding tool for creative images such as Canva.
- Communicate thoughts through live videos. Later you can edit the live videos and present that through your feed.
- Use free video editing tools such as windows movie maker or paid versions such as Movavi.
3.) Connecting with Key Influencers
- Gather blueprinting info on each influencer.
- Determine how you can help this key influencer.
- Send them each a personalized introductory, and state how you can help them.
- Help them! They want to stand out & amplify their presence as much as you want to work on your presence.
- Be Creative. Be Positive. Be Yourself. Your authenticity is valuable.
- Support their vision and goals, while adding value.
- Go the extra mile in order to impress.
- Most importantly, quality over quantity. Strategically connect with individuals whose values and needs align with your own. You determine who you need in your network.
Suppose for a moment that “Influencer X” is who you’d like to target:
- Follow Influencer X on all social media channels.
- Develop Blue Print information on Influencer X.
- Send introductory thank you note.
- Watch for opportunities to make smart replies on “Influencer X” posts.
- Don’t comment on every post. Wait for the right topics to reply with authority, value, and insight so you contribute to the conversation.
- Over time, Influencer X and their audience will respond.
4.) Create Calculated Noise
- Post religiously.
- Be an expert.
- Always highlight others.
- Create content that is helpful and needed.
- Engage with your audience.
- Be omnipresent on all social media platforms so people find you.
- Your Content/Posts/Blogs should be methodical, well thought out, and meaningful.
5.) Interacting on Social– It’s not about YOU, it’s about THEM
- Forget about what you want.
- Focus on what you can do for the people you’re interacting with.
- Be helpful, easily reachable, and approachable.
- Inquire about their family, their passion, and relate to their interests.
- Don’t go straight into who you are or what your needs may be, wait as long as reasonably possible.
- Don’t go against the grain, find the sweet spot where you both agree on the related topic.
- Compliment, compliment, compliment. People want to connect with and help others who are genuinely nice people.
6.) Building Trust
- Establish good, two-way communication to develop the relationship.
- Think about it from their perspective. Is there a Return on Relationship for them? This is the new currency to strengthen relationships.
- Master the Art of Communication & Relationship building via social channels.
- Always smile- this technique is your logo, trademark, personality, and is uplifting.
- Again, compliment, compliment, compliment!
7.) Building Relationships- 70/30 split
- 70% of your time focused on building your existing relationships to get their support.
- 30% on developing new relationships.
- Understand that you may not know who is within their networks; think 2nd & 3rd order effects.
- It’s OK to wine and dine ’em. Sit down for coffee, lunch, dinner etc…
- Consider using a variety of platforms as your building your network. Podcasts, Group Hosted Skype meetings, radio shows, talk show interviews, live facebook events, in-person networking events, professional development groups.
8.) Go to Live Networking Events. Get out from behind your desk.
- Be selective with each event. Why do you need to go? If you can’t answer, don’t waste your time.
- Are there influencers and/or power players in attendance.
- Be prepared. They may interview and hire you on the spot.
- What tangible thing can you offer to solve a problem?
*Step 1- Before the Event:
- Weeks before the event, you need to prepare.
- Who are the speakers?
- Follow these individuals on their social channels.
- Engage in their content so they may recognize you in person.
- Arrive 30+ minutes early to the event.
- Dress for Success. Follow this equation: Be Bold + Be Different = Being Remembered.
- Create templated graphics in Canva, insert pictures & hashtags, and have them ready to post during the event.
*Step 2- During the Event:
- Be bold and colorful so you’re remembered. You can be a goofy and wear two name tags, or be different and wear a bowtie!
- Ask for business cards before grabbing yours.
- Have a conversation with people before you start handing them out.
- Find the HOW you can assist, then offer your card for the follow-up contact.
- Feel free to ask them to text to confirm their number and show that you truly want to build a relationship.
*Step 3- After the Event:
- Keep a list of everyone you want to stay connected with for whatever reason.
- Every day pick a person on your list to email.
- Direct message someone referencing their posts on social media.
- Highlight a skill or endorsement you physically saw from the event on their social.
- Give them a call or leave a thank you message.
9.) Becoming a Magnet
- Listen more than you talk…this is your most powerful relationship building tool.
- Ask questions to get them to expand on who they are or what they may need.
- Be true with displaying your curiosity. Make them feel important.
- Promote targeted individuals by featuring, highlighting, and serving them.
- When your relationship has developed somewhat, share your story. Let them know what you’re trying to achieve, and ask for introductions.
- Follow up with a thank you email recapping conversations and request a coffee or lunch meeting at a fun/interesting place (if local).
Join us this Friday at 1:30 PM EST on FB Live, as our Team talks about:
3 Articles You Should Read NOW- SGT Greg Hough
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Here is our team email address in case you have questions, tips, tricks, or best practices: YouCanVetOnIt@Viqtory.com