We’ve all done it. You go to a networking event, business cards in hand. You hand them out, exchange them for others’, but don’t actually leave with any real connections. In December’s issue of Strategies & Tactics, author Hannah Porterfield discusses five new rules for networking:

  1. Include a note: Don’t send generic LinkedIn requests after meeting someone in person. Include a note saying how nice it was to meet them, reference something you spoke about and tell them you’d like to stay connected.
  2. Stay active: Be sure to consistently use your professional social media accounts. Update your professional LinkedIn and Twitter, comment on other people’s posts, share relevant content. It shows people you are active, and not just a “lurker.”
  3. Network laterally: Don’t forget the importance of building a network with your peers. Not everyone you network with needs to be a potential employer or mentor. Your peers are more likely to refer you to jobs and rise through the ranks with you. They’re also a great resource to bounce ideas off of.
  4. Do your homework: Find out if an event attendee list is available ahead of time. This gives you the chance to look people up on LinkedIn in advance and come in with a bit of a game plan. It also gives you “soft talking points” to use in your conversations with new connections.
  5. Don’t stress: If you try to connect with someone and it isn’t reciprocated, do not worry. At the same time, one follow-up with a new connection is fine.

Do you have any networking “rules” of your own? Tweet us @newsgeneration to share.

Stay tuned…

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