Recently there was an absolutely fantastic article on effective networking that was posted here at under30CEO. One of my comments that supplemented what the author had written was that you should aim to give more than you get when it comes to networking. She agreed with what I said and said most people didn’t know how to do that without going broke and that could be another article in and of itself. So, I decided to write that article. In the last several months I’ve experienced some absolutely amazing things from my networking experience and as I’ve embrace the give more than you get mindset, it seems that the payoff gets bigger and bigger.
3 Ways To Give More Than You Get
Be a Maven: According to Malcom Gladwell, Maven’s are people who are armed with information and seem intent on spreading that information to other people. As a blogger or anybody who does anything Web 2.0 related you are definitely a natural maven. To top it off there are people who are looking for the information you can provide. Let me give you one example. A few months back, I met a friend at a networking event who was interested in getting started with a blog and really taking things to the next level. The next day I sent her a fairly lengthy email with a list of 3 blogs I read, and some recommendations for her. 2 months passed and we became friends. A few weeks ago she was at some sort of dinner where the owners of a major restaurant chain were. It turned out they were looking for somebody to work on their social media efforts. Conveniently, my name was the one she dropped. That small favor could lead to a substantial amount of additional income.
Be a Connector: Maybe you are not a maven. Maybe you are the social butterfly who knows everybody. This is one of your most powerful assets. Let’s say you know two people. One is looking for something and the other person provides exactly what the first one is looking for. You happened to be friends with both. Provide the introduction and you have just done a favor that will come around tenfold. The more people you connect together the more that people will ultimately look to you as a resource or for guidance. It also doesn’t cost you a dime to do this.
Provide Insights/Share Ideas: While this is somewhat similar to being a maven, it goes a bit further in that you are not just disseminating information that you already know. At another event recently, I met someone who has a company that I thought I was really cool. So I told her half a dozen ideas that I rattled off while tossing back my vodka and sodas. I told her to get interviewed by the guys here at under30CEO and I gave her about 3 ways to leverage her blog. Of the ideas I’ve mentioned so far , this might be the only one that borders on doing work for free. However, I do think there’s something to be said for doing a bit of pro-bono social media work. You get to build you skills, you do something good, and you develop one more solid relationship.
These are just a few ways to give more than you get when you are networking. Got others? Share them in the comments.
Srinivas Rao is an avid surfer and personal development blogger at The Skool of Life. He is also the host and co-founder of BlogcastFM, a podcast for bloggers where profiles bloggers and picks their brains for advice on successful blogging and entrepreneurship.