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How Do I Start Networking?

child-817369_960_720Networking is hard!  It is daunting, time consuming, and often confusing – especially if you aren’t a natural at networking.  You probably already know how valuable networking can be; it can help you get your day-to-day work done, advance your career, lead to a new job, or open new social groups.  Networking has brought me several job opportunities and is how I met my wife (friends of friends, bar crawl, long story – but don’t forget new social groups is networking).

How do you get started with networking?

There are 1000 and 1 things you can do to be a good networker, but let’s distill how you should start to a single item: pick one person this week to meet for lunch, grab a coffee with, or have an afterwork drink.  It is that simple!  Pick someone who you know, but not well – an acquaintance who you want to know better.  Think about why you want to know them better:

  • Are they someone who is great to know for business or your career?
  • Are they someone you met at a party and would just like to know better because you think they are cool?
  • Are they someone who you use to be close with, but have lost touch?

After the meeting, build the relationship further by sending them a quick note via email, text, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Snapchat thanking them for the great conversation.  In a few weeks, but no longer than a month or two, follow up with another get-together.

But that’s just the start.  Make a personal goal of meeting with a different acquaintance every week.  Once you become comfortable with a weekly meet up, increase your networking to two different people a week and eventually make habitual contact with at least three different people a week.  You’ll be amazed how easily you’ll get into a regular routine and how quickly you’ve strengthened and expanded your network!

Updated post originally appearing at HobbNobb.

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HobbNobb – A New Way to Network – iPhone App Released

Check out the great new iPhone app called HobbNobb that helps you keep in contact with your social networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn.  Click here to go to iTunes and download the app.

Here’s some info about HobbNobb: We know you’ve said it: “I wish I hadn’t waited so long to reach out to that person!”…could be a distant cousin, long lost friend, old co-worker/boss, etc. If we’re right (and we know we are) then HobbNobb is for you! The App gathers up your friends, family, and professional contacts from Facebook, Linkedin, and your Apple Address Book and reminds you to keep in touch with the valuable connections you have spent your life building! HobbNobb is your personal relationship, social PR, and professional networking assistant!