Plus, find out who our weekly speakers are and what you can learn from
participating at a NetWork Today event!
1. Present yourself well. Business networking is often about first impressions, and first impressions are often about presentation. At face-to-face events, dress well, polish how you speak, make eye contact and generally present yourself to impress others with your professionalism and charisma.
2. Find the center of influence. In the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith plays a stockbroker who befriends an extremely important banker with dozens of clients, friends and contacts. While the banker himself does not do business with the stockbroker, his contacts do. The lesson is that every group has a center of influence; your business networking efforts should focus on this individual.
3. Help others. While your ultimate goal may be to find investors or customers or to otherwise improve your own business chances and conditions, you are also in a position to help others. Offer whatever resources you can - advice, contacts, support, partnership or investment - in order to increase your value to the business network. This kind of enlightened altruism will eventually rebound to your advantage.
4. Take a Zen approach. To borrow a principle from Zen Buddhism, the best way to network is to be unconscious of the fact that you are networking. Don't let your mind dwell on the purpose or mechanics of networking. When you spend time with your friends, do you constantly have the purpose of maintaining your friendship in mind? No - you lose yourself in the moment. That's the kind of approach you should bring to business networking.
Good networking requires you to balance a methodical approach with the ability not to take yourself too seriously. One way to achieve this balance is to keep your methodical self behind the scenes. Carefully plan the events you'll attend, define your purpose and immerse yourself in your own pitch - but once you start interacting, maintain a casual and friendly demeanor. You'll be pleasant to be around and pleasant to listen to, which will differentiate you from the crowd and increase your chances of success.
By Mac Cassity
Networking events can be incredibly more productive for you if you just know what to do. I know, you are probably thinking "what is so hard about going to an event and handing out a bunch of business cards?" Well, there IS more to it than that. Below is a list of 7 things you must bring with you whenever you attend a networking event. Simple as they are, they all comprise a useful piece of your networking puzzle.
Bring plenty, but remember, your goal is to get other cards to be able to follow up with those you meet.
Whether the event provides one, or you bring one, make sure to wear it, and wear it on your right side...that way, when you shake hands, the other person will be eye to eye with your name and business info. Some people think name tags are silly or superfluous. I guess they can remember everyone's name the first time they meet them...I can't.
Get there early. If you know the event planner, or get a chance to meet them early on, perhaps you can help greet the guests...a fantastic way to get a chance to meet everyone who attends!
Use it to jot down notes on the back of business cards you receive so you can remember important info about those folks you meet...referencing these key points when you follow up will help you score major points.
Blackberry, laptop, or just a day planner, this is a great tool so that you can schedule follow up one on one's with those folks you meet.
Mints or Gum
Not only will this tip ensure that the conversation lasts longer, you may just be a hero for someone else who is, shall we say, fresh breath challenged!
Ok, this one sounds like a gimmee, but it's not. In fact, I see people at just about every networking event I go to do SOMETHING stupid. Drinking too much, say rude things about another business professional (you never know who is listening and what their relationship is to the person in question) or just simply ignore or treat another professional with indifference. Anyone who thinks they are ABOVE everyone else in the room, doesn't belong there. One thing to remember about manners: Say thank you. This means go and thank the host and/or the person who invited you. Thank the person who was working the door. Thank those who were helping/providing food and beverages. People remember this kind of polite gesture, because no one does it...
There you have it. Simple, but effective nonetheless. I am amazed at the number of people that simply forget to grab business cards before coming to an event. Worse yet are those folks whose breath nearly knocks you down when you talk to them. Pay attention to the simple stuff and you will reap the rewards of an effective networking presence.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does your professional photo say about you?
On a professional networking site such as LinkedIn, your picture may affect the opportunities that come your way — especially if you haven't met the other party in person.
An eye-tracking heatmap created by job site TheLadders found that recruiters spend 19% of their time on your online profile looking at your picture. Not as much time is spent on your skills or past work experience. Therefore, your picture plays a big role in whether you're able to interest a recruiter enough to reach out to you.
You want to look like a credible, confident, and professional person who anyone would want to have in their office.
Career coach Barbara Pachter outlines guidelines for professional profile pictures in her latest book "The Essentials of Business Etiquette." We pulled out the most important ones you need to know:
1. Always use a photo.
"It is important to include a photograph," says Pachter. "It can also help in making sure that people know that they have connected with the right person." For example, there may be many people named Bill Thomas, so a photo helps identify the right Bill Thomas. LinkedIn profiles with a photo are seven times more likely to be viewed than ones without an uploaded photo.
2. Use a recent photo of yourself.
We like to post photos that we think look like the best version of ourselves, but if your photo was taken eight to 10 years ago, it's too old, says Pachter.
If people are surprised when they meet you in person because you look nothing like your picture, they may wonder why you posted such a misleading photo.
3. You should be the only subject in the photo.
It's your professional profile picture, so it should focus on you. This means no inanimate objects, group shots, or photos of you with your significant other, child, or pets.
4. Your face should be in focus.
"The background can be slightly out of focus, but your features need to be sharp, not blurred," says Pachter. If there are darker shadows in the background, make sure they aren't obscuring your face.
5. Wear appropriate professional or business casual attire.
"Appear as you usually would in a business situation," says Pachter. "This may also mean that you are freshly shaven or wearing [appropriate] makeup and jewelry."
Never post a photo of yourself at the beach, in a night club, or even running a marathon.
6. Keep your head straight and upright.
Pachter says women, in particular, tend to tilt their heads in photos, which makes them look less self-assured. Again, this is your professional photo, so you need to look confident and capable in it.
7. Use a pleasant facial expression.
You need to look like someone others will want to work with, Pachter advises. This means looking pleasant and confident and not having a "too serious" look on your face.
"Photos should express vivaciousness and life," she says. "Not sad, angry, or vacant stares. Also, stick to color rather than black and white shots."
8. Don't use your company's product or logo as a photo.
People want to connect with you as an individual, so avoid displaying your company's logo — unless it's your company's page. Once they connect with you, they’ll be able to learn about your product and your company via your company page.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/rules-for-your-profile-picture-2013-11#ixzz3Zaw87mW3
We're always looking to recommend good books to our members and associates!
Here is a list of the top 13 business books:
1. How to Win Friends & Influence People
by Dale Carnegie
Carnegie's classic book was first published in 1936 and remains a best-seller today . The crux is Carnegie's idea that "the person who has technical knowledge plus the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people -- that person is headed for higher earning power." Buffett took a course on the book when he was 20 and said the experience "changed my life."
2. Choose Yourself!
by James Altucher
In this book, Altucher demonstrates that it's up to you, and easier than ever, to take charge of your life and create both inward and outward success. He offers lessons learned through accounts of the trials, tribulations, and heartbreaks of his own life.
Leadership and Management
1. The Effective Executive - by Peter F. Drucker
This is the classic management book by business guru Drucker. For Drucker, executives' key job is to "get the right things done." He identifies five essential practices to business effectiveness for executives: "managing time, choosing what to contribute, knowing where and how to mobilize strength, setting the right priorities, and effective decision-making." A favorite of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, this book offers many valuable lessons.
2.Turn This Ship Around! - by L. David Marquet
Marquet was a submarine captain who turned around the USS Santa Fe from the worst submarine in the U.S. Navy to the best. The book teaches timeless principles of empowering leadership. Fortune Magazine called the book the "best how-to manual anywhere for managers on delegating, training, and driving flawless execution."
1. The Innovator's Dilemma - by Clayton M. Christensen
The book teaches the theory of disruptive innovation and why great companies fail when they ignore disruptive products in their competitive space. A favorite of Bezos, Steve Jobs, and countless other great CEOs, the book challenges conventional wisdom on what businesses should be focused on and when they should deviate from business as normal.
2. Competition Demystified - by Bruce Greenwald and Judd Kahn
Written by the current head of the Columbia Business School's Value Investing program, Bruce Greenwald, this book presents a way to analyze the competitive structure of any industry, and pairs it with the idea of moats, market niches, and competitive advantage.
3. Strategy and the Fat Smoker; Doing What's Obvious But Not Easy - By David Maister
We often (or even usually) know what we should be doing in both personal and professional life. We also know why we should be doing it and (often) how to do it. Figuring all that out is not too difficult. What is very hard is actually doing what you know to be good for you in the long-run, in spite of short-run temptations. The same is true for organizations. What is noteworthy is how similar (if not identical) most firms' strategies really are: provide outstanding client service, act like team players, provide a good place to work, invest in your future. No sensible firm (or person) would enunciate a strategy that advocated anything else. However, just because something is obvious does not make it easy. Real strategy lies not in figuring out what to do, but in devising ways to ensure that, compared to others, we actually do more of what everybody knows they should do. This simple insight, if accepted, has profound implications for
In 18 chapters, Maister explores the fat smoker syndrome and how individuals, managers and organizations can overcome the temptations of the short-term and actually do what they already know is good for them.
1. Influence - by Robert B. Cialdini
This book could also be titled defense against the dark arts of marketing and persuasion. It explains the psychology of marketing and persuasion, which you can learn for using yourself or for defending yourself against it. In the early 1990s, Charlie Munger gave a series of talks on the psychology of human misjudgment (which have been combined and condensed in his book, Poor Charlie's Almanack ) in which he heaped praise on the book for filling gaps in his knowledge. This is the book that I give most often as a present and is my top recommendation on this list.
2. Purple Cow - by Seth Godin
The book that made the word "remarkable" clear to me (worth remarking on). This book delves into the importance of differentiation and of creating things that other people find worth pointing out. I would also highly recommend Seth Godin's blog where he has published once a day for 12 years now.
1. The Hard Thing About Hard Things - by Ben Horowitz
Written by a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, this book doesn't sugarcoat how hard it is to run your own business. Filled with practical wisdom from Horowitz's business experiences, including the near failure of his own company, this is a worthwhile read for aspiring entrepreneurs and managers alike.
2. Zero to One - by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
This book came out of the notes Masters took when Thiel (founder of PayPal, Palantir, Thiel Fellows and Clarium Capital, and lead investor in Facebook) taught a Stanford University class on start-ups. The book title comes from the idea that "Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1." You can read the book, or go straight to the notes if you are curious.
1.Business Model Generation - by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
The book on rethinking how businesses work. This book provides a new framework for thinking about how businesses create and capture value through an intense look at how customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, and a business's core value proposition all interconnect.
2.The Essays of Warren Buffett - by Warren Buffett and Lawrence A. Cunningham
Buffett has long been praised for his concise writing and easy-to-understand metaphors of complex business concepts. This book compiles and condenses the best of Buffett's letters to investors and other writings into a single book organized thematically. Everyone can learn from this book, but I would still highly recommend investors read Buffett's collected letters to shareholders in full; they can be found on the Berkshire Hathaway website.
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