Are you investing your time in networking without achieving any significant results? Well, it is possible that you are networking the wrong way. As someone who has experimented with a lot of networking strategies, let me share a few secrets(not so secret anymore :P) from my experience that will help you to network effectively.
I thought I was a pro at using LinkedIn and building a strategic network. I would wake up each day, send a few requests to the relevant connections in my industry, respond to messages. I had a networking goal. I had some activity going on. That was enough, right?
It was only recently that I understood what people meant when they said "Networking can change your life". It is not how many connections(or followers) you have but the conversations(that add value to your day) you have with your network that matter. Prioritize the depth of your network over its breadth.
To test this out, I tried changing my approach and began the Networking Experiment. I changed the networking mode from passive to active. I only spent about 15 minutes of my day on LinkedIn but made a conscious effort to change my networking strategies.
- I stopped sending mere connection requests. I started sending out personalized notes to the people I wanted to connect to.
- I timed my presence on LinkedIn. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through the feed, I engaged with the posts that resonated with me.
- I started letting people know when they made an impact on my day with their content.
- Some conversations were too interesting to be confined to chats. I scheduled virtual coffee chats to get to know what the other person was passionate about.
- I started sharing my story. I posted at least 4 times a week. It took me some trial and error to see what my network enjoyed the most and I started aligning my posts along the lines of that topic.
However, it wasn’t a rosy path. I had people who discouraged me and tried to put me down. There were moments where I didn’t know what I was doing. It took me some time to figure out that my drive to network was bigger than any hurdle along the way. Hence, I kept going.
Result? I got more out of LinkedIn in 15 days than all of the previous 15 months put together. In a week, I was able to build a community that knew me for the value I could add to their lives and supported me to the best of their capacity(I found my tribe). I made some beautiful relationships(some, I even took beyond LinkedIn). Being vocal about my progress, accomplishments, and struggles helped people to connect with me on an emotional level than an intellectual one. I was amazed at how willing people were, to help me if I reached out. I got a lot of speaking opportunities because people believed in my journey and wanted to share it with others. The best, however, was the sense of contentment I felt through this. I learned ways to look at life differently and learned a lot about myself. All the insightful conversations subconsciously helped me to make better decisions and own my journey.
If you are curious to find what Networking truly has to offer, you should try the “Networking Experiment” too. With time, you will find the strategies that work best for you and you will be proud of the fact that you started in the first place. Find your networking goal and start experimenting TODAY.
If you try this, don’t forget to share the results with me. I am curious to read about your journey.
PS: This is a tried and tested technique. DO TRY IT ONLINE!!
If you reached here, here is a video with 3 bonus networking tips for you:
Here are a few other articles of mine:
Are you a good reader?
Understanding the science behind it will help you avoid certain mistakes that can deter your reading experience and…