Cheat Sheet: 9 Professional Networking Tips

In case you missed our webinar, Tips & Tricks for 21st Century Professional Networking, here is your cheat sheet. Get nine takeaways from Ilise Benun's talk on professional networking and then listen to the recast.

Are you a networking novice? Not to worry. Ilise Benun, founder of Marketing Mentor, offers of-the-era networking tips to help you become a savvy schmoozer. Study the following nine networking tips to help build connections before and after an event.

Before we dive in, remember that networking is:

  • An outlook on life. It's a way of looking at the world and being open to new connections.
  • Giving, not getting. Think of networking as a way to be useful to others more so than as a way for them to be useful to you.
  • About being a resource to others. Based on your strengths and connections, ask yourself how you can help others grow.
  • Planting seeds and nurturing them. Don't focus on instant gratification; remember that you're building relationships and that takes time.
  • Research and asking questions. Be prepared – know why you're attending an event and show up with thoughtful questions.
  • Connecting personally and authentically. Be real rather than robotic. Adapt how you present yourself and your "elevator pitch" based on who you're speaking to.

Pre-Event Networking Plan

In-person networking is still important, even in today's digital world. But before you attend an event, make sure you're well-versed on who's attending, what you want to ask and how you're going to present yourself. Consider the following five pre-event networking tips:

  1. Review: See who's attending; decide who you want to meet.
  2. Research: Google them; prepare questions to ask.
  3. Reach out: Invite to connect or follow on social channels.
  4. Update: Ensure your LinkedIn profile is current and accurate.
  5. Prepare: Practice your pitch; set three clear objectives.

Post-Event Networking Plan

Just because the event has passed, doesn't mean your networking is done. Nurture your new relationships with the following four post-event tips:

  1. Tweet to or about your new connections.
  2. Reconnect on LinkedIn, possibly in a group.
  3. Schedule time to continue the conversation when appropriate.
  4. Stay in touch.

Listen to the Webinar

Get the full networking treatment by listening to Ilise's tips in our networking webinar. Also, hear her answers to listeners' most pressing questions on networking online and in person.

Poll Results: How Do You Feel About Networking?

58% of listeners responded: Networking is something I wish I had the courage to do.
36% responded: Networking is my best marketing tool.
6% responded: Networking is for slimy schmoozers.

Where do you stand? Let us know in the comments.