Tips For One-on-One Networking

People often say that PR is all about who you know.  And if that’s true, it’s no surprise that networking is so important!  With that, I’ve recently made it a personal goal of mine to network as much as possible.   From my experience and the advice of many others, I’ve compiled 5 important tips to successfully networking one-on-one.
 
1. Do the work.
When it comes to one-on-one networking, you are asking a big favor of someone: time.  So, be sure to work around his or her schedule completely.  Give them a few options of times to meet, and options for lunch or coffee, unless they insist on a specific meeting place.   The key is making it as easy as possible for them to want to give you their time.
 
2.    It’s not about you…. Or at least that’s what you want them to think.
Never walk into a networking opportunity with a list of things that you want to get from the person.  Instead, find a way that you can help them.  How can you help grow their business?  They will return the favor.
 
3.    Be Yourself
This is too often overlooked in networking.  But it is so important to show your personality.  That is how you make connections with people, and remain memorable.  But remember, this isn’t lunch with your friends, so keep it professional too. 
 
4.    Don’t Dismiss Anything
You may find yourself in a situation where you think networking with someone will be a waste of time.  Maybe they’re not in your industry, or your not sure how you can help each other.  But don’t dismiss any opportunities.  There is always something to be gained from networking, even if you don’t see a short-term result.
 
5.    Stay in touch
Everyone knows to send the standard follow up email thanking him or her for their time and advice, but don’t stop there.  Stay in touch with everyone in your network!  Shoot them an email every once in a while to see how they’re doing, and keep up with their businesses.  Be sure to congratulate them about any recent success.  Maybe even send an email or handwritten card to everyone in your network over the holidays.

One of the most important things to remember about networking is that there is no specific formula.  And different things work for different people.  What are some things that you’ve learned from networking?  Let us know!
This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Chris Covone. 

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