I’m not a typical “networker”. In fact, the typical idea of networking, quick card exchanges and a “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” approach, is a big turn off for me. Which is why I never go to events that are just for those types of (in my opinion) shallow meet & greets, probably over drinks.
But I DO regularly do two things, and sometimes do another, that often *naturally lead to* building my connections:
1) I always do my best to make genuine, personal connections with people, usually over something specific we might have in common, or that I know or notice about them. They then remember me, and I remember them.
For example, in a recent newsletter of mine, I mentioned how I now have a resume rewrite and interview coaching client I first met 10 years ago, through a side gig I do sometimes in something totally unrelated to my main business, resume writing. But he remembered me, and I, him, and his wife, too, who I also met & has followed my newsletter and social media since then.
I once met someone in a long line at the health food store that it turned out, worked locally in this industry, and we’ve sent each other referrals. No recollection how that conversation got started or why, though!
2) I always recognize great service, am personable, and say thank you in some way. Often, this also makes you memorable.
For example, I also had a client who found me via my CABLE GUY that was here last year! Don’t remember mentioning what I do to him, but, he referred me a great client, cool! My guess is the cable guy impressed me & I gave him resume tips as a thank you, since I do that sometimes when I get great service from someone, but really, I have no idea how he knew I was a resume writer, maybe it came up while we were discussing my internet speed or needs. I also don’t know why he referred me – but I do appreciate it, always!
3) I do sometimes go to business related events (usually trainings of some kind, because I like to learn, and there’s always something NEW TO LEARN as a business owner, and a professional in any field really, especially around new software or tech solutions, which are constantly changing, as I’m sure you well know!) These have sometimes led to cool opportunities for me.
For example, I went to a great MeetUp on “E-commerce for WordPress Websites” (ie, I’m learning how to sell my Career Clarity Guide and other downloadable pdf resources guides like “Confident & Convincing Interviews: Prove YOU” on my site!).
Turns out the presenter is also opening a microbrewery … and guess who had a new grad client that had a great internship at a competing nationally known microbrew!? It was so cool to ask both the presenter and my client if this could be a match (it was) and connect them!
You just never know what is “networking” sometimes, and where it can lead I guess!