Your Networking Challenge

Last month, I challenged you to try a new marketing initiative. Now, I have a networking challenge for you. This networking blitz is a great way to expand your network, find prospects, and gain new business.

Here are five days of options. However, you don't need to do everything. Pick two or three things to do regularly, and choose the day that works best for each task.

1. Message. You may be connected with lots of peers and friends on social media, but when was the last time you had a one-on-one communication? Send a Facebook or LinkedIn message to three people you haven’t heard from in a while. These should be simple, “Hi. How are you?” notes, and see where the conversation leads.

2. Meet. Do a different IRL (in real life) outreach each week. Meet an old colleague for lunch, go to a networking event, have dinner out with a friend, attend an event where you know no one … except for perhaps a friend who is acting as wing-man/wing-woman. You won't meet new people unless you put yourself in a position to do so.

3. Post. Share an update on LinkedIn. It could be your own image and link, letting people know what you have been up to, or a link to a resource your network might find valuable. Be sure to add a comment to anything you post, in order to personalize it. The idea is to show up in the news feed of others, and remind them of you and your business.

4. Comment. Another way to show up in the feed on LinkedIn is to comment on the posts and milestones of friends. This is another opportunity to reconnect with someone with whom you've lost touch.

5. Plan. I know I said you can move these dates around, but Friday is a great day for planning. You can also consider it as a day off of networking for good behavior. Go through your friends’ list on Facebook and LinkedIn, and target who to reach out to the next week. When you do the prep-work, it makes options 1 through 4 much easier.

Use this networking experiment to shake things up, reconnect with old friends, and meet new people,. Then see what comes from it, because you never know ... Good luck and remember to have fun!

What is your favorite way to network, either in person or online? Please share what works for you in the comments.

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Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. Like the Write On Online Facebook Page and join the Facebook Group.  She is author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, and host of the Guided Goals Podcast and the #GoalChat Twitter Chat. Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Terry Whalin said...


Thanks for this excellent advice. Each of us needs to be working to expand our network and seize the opportunities we gain from that networking. It's a practice that I've been doing for years. For example, I reached out to an author a week or so ago and planned a coffee for tomorrow with her. I have no idea what will come from this meeting but it is way better than the alternative--nothing.

Straight Talk From the Editor

Linda Wilson said...

Debra, these are great options. I will be trying out as I begin to navigate the market for my new and first book. Thanks!

Debra Eckerling said...

That's awesome, Terry. Have fun. And let me know how it goes. The other thing worth adding: when you meet/re-meet people, they may not be your ideal client or customer - but you never know who they know.

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Linda. Good luck and let me know if I can be of assistance.

Karen Cioffi said...

Debra, great tips. I already do 2, 3, and 4. I hadn't thought about #1, but looks like a worthwhile step. I'll have to try it.
Thanks for sharing!

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Karen. The bonus of #1 is ... you get to get back in touch, which is always kind of fun! Let me know how it goes. :) Deb

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