Networking 108 – New Year & Your Networking Plan

Here is the 8th Article I wrote for 336Events.com

by Teddy Burriss Social Networking Pro

Welcome to 2014 Folks. I hope you make this year fabulous!

But before you get started you need to have your networking plan in place.

Having a networking plan focused on creating success is critical. We don’t plan to fail, yet many of us fail to plan, properly.

So, what is your 2014 networking plan?

Does your plan include IRL (in real life) networking groups. If so, which ones? If you do decide to get involved in networking groups, what are you going to do every week and/or every month as a member of the group? Are you budgeting time in your networking plan to attend and volunteer at the meetings. Have you budgeted time every week to have coffee, sweet tea and/or soda with new members and those you have not talked with in a while?

What local events do you plan to attend this year? Have you done research on the upcoming 336Events, Linking Winston-Salem & Linking Greensboro events, Civic Group activities and charitable events. Please consider putting these type of events on your calendar. They are great places to volunteer, meet and help other people.

Does your networking plan include time to reach out to people you have not talked to in some time. Your weak ties. These folks may be able to help you with your goals in life, career, business and community, but only if you reach out, listen to them and reconnect. Your weak ties are important to you, put time on your calendar to reconnect.

Will you carve out time on your calendar for social networking?  Every successful networking plan must include time to connect and engage with your network through social media. At a minimum you should consider spending 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn deliberately connecting, collaborating, contributing, cramming and creating new relationships. Read the book, “Success using Social Media,” if you need help wit this task. Put social networking time on your calendar and watch how it grows your network.

Have you printed up thousands of new brochures, business cards, flyers, bulletins, white papers and product features & benefits documents? Good for you – leave these in the office. They are not for networking. Remember, Networking is for connecting and building mutually beneficial relationships.

These are the basic activities for a successful Networking Plan. Depending on your goals, you may have other deliberate and relevant ideas.

In summary, make sure your Networking Plan has some combination of:

Participate in Real Life Networking Groups
Meet new people at Local Networking Events
Lots of coffee, sweet tea and soda time with new contacts
Time to reconnect with your weak ties
Deliberate Social networking activity
Make lots of new connections, develop mutually beneficial relationships and look for opportunities

When you get your 2014 Networking Plan built and you believe you can do it, get started.

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