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IN THIS SUMMARY
Networking events make many people uncomfortable. In Smart Networking, author Liz Lynch confesses to feeling so small and overwhelmed at her first networking event that she only lasted five minutes. But Lynch did not give up, and today she has built two businesses through networking. She writes that people who network do not need to be extroverts or manipulate others, and they do not need to network all the time. Lynch contends that networking is not about doing more but rather about being strategic. What people must do is be themselves and network smart.
SMART NETWORKING Attract a Following in Person and Online AUTHORS: Liz Lynch PUBLISHER: McGraw-Hill DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2009 180 pages
FEATURES OF THE BOOK Getting a job is difficult, and finding the right fit for both jobseekers and employers is even more so. Networking makes the process easier, but smart networking can be more efficient and effective in opening doors globally. In her book Smart Networking , Liz Lynch gets readers to consider how to create and sustain lasting, give-and-take relationships that fit their needs.
THE BIG IDEA In Smart Networking, author Liz Lynch explains that the pitch is one of the easiest tools to use to present oneself. The goal should be to create a pitch that is repeatable and that relays the message consistently though all forms of marketing.
INTRODUCTION Networking events make many people uncomfortable. In Smart Networking , author Liz Lynch confesses to feeling so small and overwhelmed at her first networking event that she only lasted five minutes. But Lynch did not give up, and today she has built two businesses through networking. She writes that people who network do not need to be extroverts or manipulate others, and they do not need to network all the time. What they must do is be themselves and network smart.
WHY NETWORK? <ul><li>Whether one lives to network or networks to live, it is difficult to be successful in a career or business by ignoring networking. There are three reasons why people have to network: </li></ul><ul><li>Higher creativity + greater speed = you cannot do it all yourself. Jobs have become less rote and require workers to be more creative and resourceful. In addition, greater competition means workers must respond to challenges with greater speed and quickness. With the ability to rally others to help, workers can accomplish more. </li></ul>
WHY NETWORK? <ul><li>Information is currency; relationships are the clearinghouse . In an era of high information, talking to trusted allies allows people to pass on only the information that is necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>More ways to communicate means that it is easier to be left out of the conversation. The Internet has made competition for services move from a limited selection in the local phone book to services all over the globe. Not only can people find more ways to get help, they can also discover opinions about the services that businesses currently provide. </li></ul>
MAKING NETWORKING EFFECTIVE The benefits of networking are obvious: it is a good way to attract customers to a business and helps people get jobs when they need them. Relationships can help with: Support . In building a business, support can include vendors, suppliers, subcontractors, employees, and investors. It can also provide information, advice, ideas, and feedback. Influence . Sometimes someone knows someone who can help with a problem and make a recommendation. Resources . Facebook and LinkedIn provide powerful platforms that connect people to those who can help. Information . Networking connects people with experts they can call on for answers.
THE PITCH People sometimes have trouble talking about those they know the most about—themselves. A really good pitch used in the introduction makes it easier to get the attention of the listener. Pitches are not to sell but to generate interest in the pitcher and to hint at the value the pitcher can bring. What goes into the pitch depends on one’s overall goal. People should have more than one pitch and should choose the right one based on their goals and the audience.
CONNECTIONS FROM THE PAST When reconnecting with relationships from the past, people can propose a face-to-face meeting by either email or telephone call. Preparation for the meeting is important, and Lynch suggests using the following meeting agenda: Kick off casually before getting down to business. Have contacts speak about themselves to break the ice. Give the pitch and get their opinion. Conveners should prepare the pitch to describe what they are doing and why they are doing it.
CREATING VALUE IN RELATIONSHIPS <ul><li>Value can take on two different forms. First, networkers can offer tangible value, such as helping people get something by moving them toward an important objective. Some ways networkers can do this include: </li></ul><ul><li>Connecting prospective buyers with sellers, </li></ul><ul><li>Making introductions to potential business partners </li></ul><ul><li>Recommending a friend for a job </li></ul>
STEP 1: THE ART OF THE ASK The reason people build networks is to have resources when they need help , but requesting help can often be tricky. If they ask for it incorrectly, they can damage the relationship. If they do it too often, they can be silently shunned. If the request is too outrageous, it can create tension that can hurt the relationship. There is a thought process behind getting requests fulfilled, and it must be followed in order to achieve goals without advertising and waving banners in front of the market.
STEP 2: BLOGGING When people network, they make connections . These connections are built by meeting at an event and starting a conversation. The more they learn about each other, the deeper the connection. In a similar fashion, blogs are online conversations where people post internet articles, and if others make a connection by reading and responding. People can also publish their expertise in magazines, but it can be difficult. The time it takes to publish can be long, while the period of time it stays published is limited. The web posts articles for however long the networker wants to have it posted.
STEP 3: E-ZINES E-zines are different from blogs because they are distributed via email. While the creator controls who reads it, the creator also needs permission to publish it to subscribers. Creators can post an opt-in form on their websites, blogs, or in email signatures. They can also pass around a sign-up sheet to collect names and email addresses when they speak at events.
STEP 4: SOCIAL NETWORKING Social networking sites are online communities in which users can find and interact with others who share common interests. They also allow people to connect with others from the comfort of their own home. However, Lynch suggests that the same rules of effective face-to-face networking still apply. Users can leverage sites like Facebook and LinkedIn in the same way as other communication methods, such as blogs and e-zines. These sites can be utilized to announce a new product, market a seminar, or build an email list. The same process should be followed to prepare, connect, and strengthen while getting started using online networking.
STEP 5: CREATING A PLAN A one-page plan can be created in less than 30 minutes and should include at least four key parts: Purpose. A networker must ask, “Why do I want to network?” The more specific they get with their purpose, the easier it will be to pinpoint those with whom they should be networking and where to find them. Key connections. Who are the people they need help from? The answer should include both reconnections and new prospects. They must then identify no more than ten different possible individuals and groups to meet, and brainstorm how to accomplish making the connection.
STEP 5: CREATING A PLAN The pitch. After doing steps one and two, the pitch will be easier. Key activities. These are made up of one-time, ongoing, and ad hoc activities that the networker must participate in to achieve their goals. One-time activities are ones that are done upfront, such as creating profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook and setting up a blog.
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