Professional networking is a dynamic practice - constantly evolving alongside broader popular trends. The way entrepreneurs navigate today’s business environment is very different than it was fifty, twenty, or even five years ago (see “accelerating change”).
What’s clear is that if you're an entrepreneur, salesperson, or professional of any kind who benefits from having a business network, then you can’t rely on yesterday’s networking tactics in today’s world - they simply won't work.
Here are 5 modern approaches to business networking.
Paper business cards are out - and so, for that matter, is relying exclusively on social media. 2023 is the time of hybrid networking. This means bridging the gap between your digital and physical connections. Think where IRL meets URL.
Enter Popl digital business cards.
First, Popl gives users a way to seamlessly exchange contact info in-person. Then the Popl app makes it easy to follow up and stay connected online. Popl represents the epitome of hybrid networking. And hybrid networking is all about real people and real connections.
Using one of Popl's digital business card gives you control over your identity - not just your online persona, but the one you share in-person.
The Glengarry Glen Ross system is obsolete. It’s not all about "closing" or making as many superficial connections as you can anymore. Sheer quantity of connections has no value in the modern marketplace where you can amass legions of online "friends," without actually knowing even one of them.
Quality, then, is the name of the game.
Where do quality connections come from? From depth of shared experiences and interests. Keep this in mind at your next networking event or conference - that it’s about making a natural connection with others by showing a genuine interest in them as people first, professionals second, and potentially “valuable” partners third. This is the mindset that results in the formation of truly valuable business network.
An old adage, yes - but as true today as it was way back when…
In the West Coast business world in particular you’ll notice some of the successful entrepreneurs are also the most casual and unassuming. You might say “with comfort comes confidence,” but it’s possible to be the way even before reaching your professional Mount Everest. In other words, you don’t have to be the most successful person in the room in order to be authentic, kind, and non-judgmental. Being yourself is more than enough.
Next time you’re at a networking event and find yourself talking to some unassuming person, remember to treat them kindly because they could turn out to be the most professionally successful person in the room.
Yes, treat others the way you want to be treated. You heard it in school - maybe also from your parents, and a million times since then. But hear it again - and give it a try the next time you’re thinking about the best ways to build an authentic and powerful business network.
If you want someone to help you professionally, try helping them. Don’t always take, treat others the way you’d want to be treated by giving without expectation. This simple practice can have tremendous benefits - and there’s always a way to give, everyone has valuable skills, sometimes you just have to think creatively about what those are and how they might apply to your current circumstances.
In-person networking events are coming back in a big way. If your business networking has gone stale, or if you feel like you have a large network “technically” with no real value - it might be because you’re overly-reliant on digital connections…Digital connections have value, of course, but their magnitudes are more valuable when they’re backed by real-world connections. Look for local entrepreneur events or conferences on topics you find interesting and simply go. Don’t overthink it, don’t stress. Just go - worst case scenario you’ll learn something about yourself and hopefully meet a few nice people. Best case, you might find the perfect partner or land your dream job. Try in-person networking with an open mind and a positive attitude and bad outcomes become impossible.
There you have it, 5 key ways to build a successful, modern business network. Now get out there and start networking – but, before you do, check out our digital business cards to bring your networking game to the next level.
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by Gerald Lombardo February 06, 2023 5 min read
by Gerald Lombardo February 03, 2023 4 min read
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