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High Performance Business Networking February 17, 2010

Posted by David Dirks in Networking.
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Advanced Business Networking Webinar

Please download the above link to access the Webinar Outline PDF.

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Using LinkedIn for Business June 21, 2009

Posted by David Dirks in Networking, Relationship.
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David DirksI’ll tell you flat out: I love Linkedin as a business networking tool.  Each week I devote some time to reviewing what some of my network contacts are doing and look to add additional contacts to my base.  In a few short months I’ve been able to add several hundred contacts to my LinkedIn network…and these are people that I know already.

I also see a number of people I know, people who have established businesses, using LinkedIn as well.  A few seem active and engaged with LinkedIn.  Many others seem to start and then stop.  They lose faith in the art and science of networking.  They might gather a few names but they don’t seem to be adding any contacts.  Is it because they just ran out of contacts and stopped at let say , 20?  Not likely.

It’s more likely that they just don’t invest the time that it takes to grow and engage a group of contacts.  It is often difficult to see any results as you are building your network.  Some people will stay stalled because they cannot see the value of online social media platforms like LinkedIn.  What’s the point?  How will it help them grow their business?  Will it make them money?

High performing Big Dogz, both individuals and businesses, understand the value and power of social networking sites like LinkedIn.  They get the point.  They seem to understand better than most that business networking is an investment of time that will pay off if you do it effectively.

Social media platforms like LinkedIn are another way to communicate and engage many different layers of business contacts.  Look at it this way: LinkedIn is a very efficient and effective tool for acquiring and managing business contacts on a far wider and deeper basis.

I’ve been working with LinkedIn for a few years now and I keep learning more everyday.  Here are a few things I’ve learned so far that might make your experience more fruitful:

  • Invest a consistent amount of time each week to working your LinkedIn account.  I’ve learned that investing my time in smaller doses on a consistent basis is all I need to keep my network growing and maintaining it.
  • Engage your network.  With LinkedIn, you can poll your network on any question you want.  What better way to get a read a critical issue facing your  business or industry than to ask your trusted group of network contacts?  That’s just one example of engaging your network.  Another is just updating them on a regular basis on issues or business events, ideas or needs.  Use the “What are you working on now?” section on your home page to alert/inform or ask your network for some help.
  • Keep adding new contacts each week.  One of the best ways to do that is to look at one of your contacts and see if you know anyone that’s not already in your network.  Invariably, I’ll find a few people each week and send an invitation to them.  Almost all accept and my network grows.
  • Both quality and size of network count.  LinkedIn is built on the concept of only including people you know and trust into you network.  It’s what makes LinkedIn more discerning as a social network platform than others.  But as your network grows, both the quality and size of your network give you an advantage.  It’s simple math.  Having 200 trusted and known contacts gives you greater reach and depth than having just 20.

If you are engaging your network both in giving and receiving information, ideas, etc., you’ll find over time that your network will become a contributor to your business.  You just have to stay with it and have a little faith.

Are you networking? January 20, 2009

Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Changing behavior, Networking, Relationship, Self assessments.
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How networked are you? The Big Dogz know that before you can achieve a higher level of networking, you need to know how networked you are right now. Here is a self-assessment to evaluate just how networked you are.

 

How true is each statement for you? Rate your self on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is almost not true at all and 10 is almost completely true.

 

I understand specifically what I need to get from my network.

Having defined specific needs for your network will allow you to identify potential networking sources. It will help you decide where to spend your time and energy

 

I can articulate what value I bring to a networking relationship.

Knowing what you have to offer allows you to be more assertive in developing relations. You can start the exchange of support by offering something of value. Have a consistent “elevator speech” that you can deliver comfortably when you meet someone new.

 

I have an effective strategy for networking.

The basis of an effective strategy is the identification of your approach to networking. What do you want to achieve? How will you achieve it? Networking without an overall strategy is just not as effective.

 

I contact the people in my network frequently.

Networking is not just calling people when you need help. Cultivate key relationships using periodic contact such as face-to-face, telephone or even an email.

 

People in my network contact me frequently.

When people are contacting you, it is a clear indicator that people in your network value your opinion and the relationship they have with you. If you are not getting frequent calls from people in your network, start calling them!

 

I belong to professional and community organizations.

These types of organizations offer a target rich environment for networking. Usually members of these organizations are movers and shakers in their field or in the community.

 

I am active in volunteer task forces or committees at work, in professional organizations and in the community.

Volunteering to serve on these committees often allow you to meet other people who are in positions of power or may have something of value to you. It is always an effective action to give back to your profession or community.

 

I have at least three people in my network with whom I have constant interaction.

Pareto’s Law says that 20% of what we do has 80% of the value to us. The same principle is true of networking. Cultivate a small number of key relationships that are of mutual high value.

 

I use technology to leverage my network.

There are many websites set up for networking. Make sure you are using one of them. Make frequent updates to your entry. Try to select a networking site that aligns with your networking strategy. If one that supports your strategy does not exist, select the one with the broadest appeal.

 

I am confident in my ability to network.

Self-confidence is the key to building effective networks. It takes confidence to approach a senior person to create a connection. The most effective way to develop your confidence in networking is to practice your interpersonal skills.

 

There is no passing score for this assessment. Set your own targets for your scores based on what you believe to be effective. The assessment is a tool for you to determine the strengths and areas of improvement of your networking. Look at the statements you rated yourself low. More focus on these actions can help you build a stronger network. The Big Dogz know that having a strong network is a major contributor to success.

 

To make sure you get a valid self-assessment, please see my July 30, 2007 entry on calibrating your self-assessment skills.

  

https://growingmybusiness.wordpress.com/2007/07/