The career enhancing aspects of Social Networking

 

I have been motivated to write this after a number of recent conversations with friends and ex-colleagues who are just starting to understand the power of effective Social Networking in a business context....... or is that "Business Networking"......?  Does it matter either way?

The recent conversations break down into broad categories, as follows:

  • 100% looking for a new job
  • 100% realise that their networks are weak and ineffective in the search for a new role
  • 100% have realised that their Reputation in the marketplace" was weak or non-existent outside of their current/past colleagues and customers
  • 100% wanted to address this URGENTLY with ideal timescales being weeks, not months!

In all cases, I gave them broadly the same advice to help them in developing Social Networking Expertise almost over-night, although their personal approaches needed to vary slightly if they were going to fit the work into the time they had available.

The first piece of advice was that becoming a social networking expert and seeing tangible results from their efforts takes time - there are no quick fixes!  But focusing your efforts effectively can make the process more gratifying and give better results more quickly.

In terms of getting a kick-start, you can't beat the power of LinkedIn!!  Areas to focus on in order to rapidly build your network include:

  1. Connect with some "Superconnectors" - especially ones in your industry sector
  2. Find current (and ex) colleagues and clients and connect with them
  3. When a colleague or client connects, have a look at their network and see who else they are connected with that you know and connect with them too!
  4. Write testimonials for people you Like, Trust and Respect
  5. Complete your details fully - take the time to write your profile so that it serves as an on-line CV and contains the key activities and roles in your career.

It's very important to have both depth a breadth in your network:

 - Breadth is about connections you don't know so well (and Superconnectors), but they allow you to find more people and to be found by more people

 - Depth is in your personal contacts=> people you know well, people who will advocate you and happily make introductions for you

I've met some people who reject contacts they don't know - this is the equivalent of refusing to speak to somebody you don't already know and, if we all did that, nobody would have any friends!!

I've only skimmed the surface here - there's a lot more you can do!  There are also other networks out there, like Fast Pitch, Xing, Ecademy, etc. They all work on similar principles, but look and feel different and they may (or may not!) suit your style, but they all have a free membership level, so it costs nothing to find out if you think they'll suit you.

If you'd like to know more, please drop me a line........

Happy Networking!

Rory