Aug 01, 2018

5 Keys To Networking

By: Russ Zalatimo

The saying goes “It’s all about who you know,” and there’s some truth to that. While many feel it’s attached to privilege and nepotism, that saying really just means that success is also achieved through whom you surround yourself with. And that’s where networking comes into play. Another saying is that your network is your net worth; additionally a truthful bit.


Your network is anyone within direct reach or within a few degrees of separation that can provide mutually beneficial assistance in reaching your goals. The most difficult aspect of building your network is the physical act of networking, and it can be a daunting task for anyone who hates socializing—both in person and over social media. However, there are some key ways to network that are beneficial to building a business. All it takes is putting yourself out there.


  1. Find your tribe.

Every industry has key players that either represent a larger organization or have a desirable trajectory for yourself and your entrepreneurial endeavors. Create a list of these individuals, and make it as detailed as possible. Make sure these people fill certain buckets of your goals that you hope to reach, because while making new friends is never unwelcome, you want to make sure that you’re reaching the people who can actually inspire your next moves.


  1. Be sociable.

For many, this is by far the most painful part of the process. Whether it’s attending an event related to your field or directly reaching out over social media, there are a number of ways to connect with key players both near and far. For the former, there’s an even bigger benefit to actually going out and about. Whether it’s a business conference, happy hour, or a learning panel, these events are all geared toward networking in real time and in person. People remember faces, even when names escape them. But that doesn’t mean a simple hello over social media won’t do the trick.


  1. Avoid opportunistic approaches.

This is an extension of the previous key. When you’re beginning the preliminary steps to networking, it’s important to not appear excessively needy. It’s clear that in business there’s an obvious desire to gain something, but avoid being so overt that the person on the receiving end feels used. Reach out to meet for a cup of coffee or grab lunch. If you’ve met them before at an event, remind them of the event to bypass the initial “stranger” encounter. Appearing sincere will genuinely make the other person more receptive to becoming a part of your network.


  1. Give and take.

With networking, there’s an exchange that happens. Even if you’re new to your field and looking to network with a hopeful mentor, you’re able to offer them insight on what the newcomers are looking for in the field and how they feel entering in. That information is valuable to their hiring processes and potential competition, so the give and take still applies. For more balanced interactions, offer to help the person with whom you’re networking. Chances are, you both have something to provide the other. Be forthcoming with your services and they will reciprocate. It’s more than favors; it’s new acquaintances helping each other.


  1. Develop a superficial network.

With networking, it’s not always about one on one connections with specific people, it’s also casting a big net so that many people know your name. This is best achieved online. From developing newsletters to widespread interaction over social media, this broader outreach will then allow you to establish a deeper connection should you encounter that person in public. The key here is consistency, especially when everyone consumes massive amounts of information every week. If your presence is felt online, it will certainly be felt offline.

Author Profile

R M Zalatimo
R M Zalatimo
Inspire. Empower. Transform. Those are the words that NYC Wealth Innovator, Russ Zalatimo, lives by. From tips on leadership, self-help, and growing entrepreneurship Zalatimo provides the trade secrets to leading a well-rounded life.