But how do you keep networking from being awkward, overwhelming and a big time sink? Well, my colleague, networking strategist and coach Liz Lynch shows you EXACTLY how to build lasting relationships easily, authentically and productively in her book Smart Networking: Attract a Following In Person and Online. (I'm quoted on page 41 about using blogs as a networking tool!)
She's been speaking all over the country and all over the media, and here are some of the key questions everyone has and wants the answers to:
What's the biggest challenge people have with networking?
The biggest challenge has got to be the word itself. People have so many negative feelings about it-not something they want to do, or worse, have done to them. So they resist getting out there until they really have to and then they give off a scent of desperation that makes networking awkward and uncomfortable for everybody.
What's the premise of Smart Networking and how is it different?
Smart networking is about getting 24/7 results WITHOUT the 24/7 effort, because NO ONE wants to network non-stop. It's about becoming skilled at connecting both in person and online when you need to so that you can build relationships with ANYONE you need to meet, and combining that with key strategies for increasing your visibility so that opportunities find YOU.
Can anyone learn to network?
Absolutely! I'm proof positive of that. The first event I attended when I started my own business in 2000 I lasted 5 minutes! Networking wasn't something that came naturally to me, or that I even liked doing at the time, so as I learned how to do it, my underlying goal was always to look for ways to get maximum results with minimum effort. And the step-by-step process that I followed to build two successful businesses almost exclusively through networking is laid out right in the book.
With the growing popularity of social networking, do you think face-to-face networking is on the way out?
Not at all. The two in combination are so powerful. While we can connect with more people online and stay in touch more easily, nothing beats in-person interaction to really move a relationship forward. Smart Networking is the first book to talk about how to seamlessly integrate both to accelerate results.
What's the one thing we can do to network smarter?
I teach my clients to take a very strategic approach to networking. It can be so easy to get caught up in a million activities, groups, events, and social networking sites, putting in lots of effort to juggle everything, but not getting a good payoff for your investment. While I cover a wide range of networking tactics and techniques in Smart Networking, the most important thing is that I help readers put a whole plan together so they can really choose the right mix of activities for them.
Grab a copy of Smart Networking TODAY. Then, head over to Smart Networking Now right away to learn more and get special access to some free gifts that Liz and her partners have put together to help you take your relationships and your business to the next level.
And while you're at it, send a copy of Smart Networking to someone in your network as a gift-whether to say thank you or just thinking of you. Because the more people who network smart, the more we'll all benefit!