I know it’s been a while since I have blogged, but I ALWAYS enjoy networking. I have done this before and it is great for meeting new friends and getting even better content! Check it out!
When it comes to networking, there are so many ways that it can be done. If you are like me and have a hard time going to networking events, you must improvise! This is where social media comes into play. I have met so many people through social media that I still today, keep in contact with. Meeting new people on any level whether it is for business, academic, or just fun it can be overwhelming. But, I will give you a few tips that have helped me along the way. Networking does not have to seem impossible to do, it can quite actually be fun.
Tip #1: Don’t Be Shy
I know this tip maybe the most scariest thing for an introvert. Guess what, I used to be a huge introvert until I realized that a close mouth does not get fed! At least, that is what my grandmother used to say. Growing up I always kept to myself and is most times I still do. I’m the kind of person I speak when spoken to. Other than that, I’m a hermit. But, in order to start networking, you have to kick the shyness in the butt, build a bridge and get over it. Once you start to become comfortable interacting with people whether you are online or in person, it will get better. Besides, you actually might meet some people that want to hear what you have to say.
Tip # 2: Figure out who you want to network with
No matter what kind of networking you decide to partake in, you must know who you want to network with and why? What is your purpose of contacting this person? It can be to work with them in a business endeavor or even make new friends. There are so many relationships that are formed online today and in person. For example, last year when I went to my residency for my Phd program I networked and made tons of friends. I was comfortable because we all were in the same boat. Here we were new phd students unsure of what this experience would bring us. We hung in groups based on our major, we truly stuck together. I had my business cards with me and I introduced myself to the group. Most were impressed with some of the things that I had done with my life thus far. I was so nervous. At first I just scanned the room and didn’t talk to anyone, but then I put myself out there. Now, we all connect on Facebook and keep in touch. If you are at an event, think about why you are there? Meet people who have the same goals and aspirations as you. You never know, you may meet someone who can help you get that dream job or help with your endeavors.
Tip #3: Research and Observe
Now that you know who you want to network with, it’s time to do some work. Always know or learn about the person you plan on networking with. Even if you learn what they enjoy reading or their favorite food. There is always some kind of way to impress them. It’s almost like interviewing for a job. Don’t you always research the company before the interview? When you are in the interviewing process, you always have a random fact about the company that they did not expect you to know. The same with meeting people, they are always so impressed with what you know about them. People no matter what kind of person love to feel important and special. Make them feel that way. Research what they do, how they interact and step out there. Trust me, it will pay off!
Tip #4: Make your move
One of the things that I did to make my move was find out their information. If they are on twitter, I’m a following them. Watching what they write about and make a post RT’ing them. Also, most people who want to be found can be. There are so many business minded and celebrities out there who want to be approached. People will leave their contact information or information to get in contact with them.
For example, I am a big Cherie Johnson fan. I know she plays Maxine in Family Matter’s and she was still doing films. So, I was working for a magazine at the time as a writer. I followed Cherie on twitter and Facebook. I watched how she interacted with her fans. She was so down to earth and easy to talk to. I took the plunge and inboxed her. I introduced myself to her and told her I was her biggest fan. She was nice. I had saw that she was writing a book, I then told her that I was an author as well. ( See this is what WE have in common). We spoke about our books and writing style. Having a good conversation, I asked her if I could interview her for the magazine. She agreed. I wrote an exceptional piece on her and she really liked it. When I went to turn it into the magazine, they accused me of NOT interviewing her and making the article up. Man, I was mortified! I went to Cherie and told her what the magazine accused me of. Cherie was more than upset, because we Skyped and did our interview. I was so excited to work with someone that I truly admired. Cherie was nice enough to send them a nice-nasty professional e-mail. Long story short, I ended up quitting the magazine and Cherie hired me to typeset one of her books! Since then she has hired me for a lot of writing projects. I will be writing a screenplay where Cherie will play the lead and it will air on TV. I’m so excited, but I’ll talk about that later. My point is that when you make a good impression or do good work for someone celebrity or not, you stand out to them. They may continue to bring your name up to people who can better help you move forward with your endeavors. I have been connected to SO many different people both celebrity and non-celebrities. Working hard and getting the job done has always been my forte.
I say this to all of my readers and new subscribers, get out there and network! I hope my tips are able to help you obtain and achieve your goals!
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