So we’re all desperately trying to increase the number of followers we have on Twitter, or find new friends on Facebook, but your personal network is way more than a number. It’s really about whom you know and how you’ve established a relationship. That face to face contact, constant update through email kind of a person is more valuable to your work experience than the number of retweets you have in a day.
5 Tips to Stop Sucking at Networking on Ragan PR helped me refocus my energy in making a difference in the physical relationships I have actually built with professionals that I’ve come in contact with. These quick tips will help you better connect with people who have the same outlook on the job and are as willing to invest in you as much as you are into them.
1.) Personal Note: Handwritten means so much more than the old standby: email communication. What I’ve found is that a handwritten thank-you note goes above and beyond expectations and shows you really care and appreciate the work someone else has done for you. If you had a guest speaker at a meeting, if someone donated money or giveaways for a big event, let them know it hasn’t gone unnoticed!
2.) Use LinkedIn: The popularity of this site is growing fast and you can update your professional profile, as well as make new contacts and see what they’re doing.
3.) Keep a Networking Database: There are apps on your phone that let you keep track of your contacts and details about what they do. Little things like birthdays, favorite color, etc. are all important because it can help you connect with those who support you and who you’re supporting.
***QUICK TIP*** Try using a Google account to organize all your contacts! You can organize hundreds of email addresses, fax numbers, and other information you might need. You can even transfer multiple lists and it will organize it for you!
4.) Send Small Gifts for Achievement: Even if they’re not a client, stay up to date with their life and that will make your network strong. If someone is having a baby, send them a gift card and a note. It goes a long way if you can remember the small things.
5.) Create a Separate Facebook List for Your Closest Contacts: Organize people in your professional network. This will help you see their updates and correspond accordingly. Having them in the front of your mind will definitely help.