What value does face to face networking bring?

Goodlife_Careers-6035

This topic has been top of mind for me this week. I saw a sponsored Facebook post pop up in my feed saying, “Grow your business without having to network”. The ad was selling an online sales strategy – a model that often saturates our social media feeds and inboxes (if lured to their freebies in exchange for our email address). Whilst I have been looking at boosting my coaching business’s online strategy, and can see this model’s potential for success, I am mindful of getting the right level of authenticity when promoting my services, especially in the online world.

So, what does this have to do with networking?

I have always actively put myself ‘out there’ to meet others. In person. This has been a successful marketing tool for my business. I enjoy the organic nature of this approach and feel there is strength in building meaningful professional relationships. My business offers coaching to people to help manage their career and job search with proactive networking techniques and I find that most people are initially resistant to networking because it seems ‘salesy’. It doesn’t have to be and here’s why:

  • Start with coffee conversations. Who can you catch up with that you haven’t seen for a while?
  • Know your story. What’s going on for you in business, work or life? Share what’s working well and don’t be afraid to talk briefly about a specific challenge if you think it’s appropriate. They might have the answer you need.
  • Understand you values and motivators. This is pretty important as these are the things that drive you. Is there a particular cause or project you truly care about or hold close to your heart? This answer’s the question about WHY we do things.
  • Know your offering. How do you make a difference in business, work or life? What is your particular area of expertise and how does it transform or help others?

Knowing yourself well leads to understanding and promoting your personal and professional brand. When this is clear you can give an essence of ‘you’ both in person and across social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram (these are my top three). These online tools encourage and help people to engage which can lead to connecting directly via messaging and/or being directed to your website to find out more.

Now, back to the coffee conversations…

  • Be curious about the person you’re meeting with. Whether it’s a colleague, friend, school parent, potential client treat the conversation with friendly professionalism and ask – what’s news with you? Actively listen to their story and if you have a tip, advice, can refer them or simply a sounding board, then you are being generous with your time and energy.
  • Follow up with a short appreciative email or text if you think it’s appropriate and share any info you said you’d follow up on.
  • Connect on social media if you haven’t already (using the right tool for the audience – I often suggest LinkedIn as it’s the most professional).

Networking doesn’t just happen over coffee or social media though. It happens all the time. Here’s some ways that I connect (that have led to successful business referrals):

  • Cohoots coworking meeting roomCoworking space
  • Contracting
  • Train / commute
  • Short course / conference
  • Committees
  • Business association
  • Volunteering / community involvement
  • Friends and family
  • Hairdresser (think about it – they chat with lots of people every day!)

To summarise, know your value, your offering, your area of expertise and tell your story far and wide. And be yourself. No one needs the pressure of someone directly selling something. It’s much easier to be genuine in your conversations and people will be interested to find out more. By following up with an email or social media connection keeps the conversation going and if they want to engage further they know where to find you. You never know when the people you meet and the discussions you have will lead to a job opportunity or a business referral so think about the message you give.

I’ve written step by step tips to strengthen your networking skills HERE.

I’ve also included information to Simon’s Sinek’s ‘Start with Why‘ as I think it’s a good way to remind us of our purpose.

Get in touch with Genevieve for a coaching session on networking skills or how to optimise your LinkedIn.

Top image by photographer Lucy Foster of LuLu Snap
Smaller image taken by Gen

 

Time for a Resume Refresh

When was the last time you dusted off your resume? I’m guessing when you last applied for a job. It’s true for me too. I coach people in developing a marketable resume and when I last looked at mine I was a bit embarrassed!

The approach I take when helping people strengthen their resume is to focus on layout and then the content. In this post I’m going to list ways to improve the readability of your resume through some formatting suggestions:  Continue reading “Time for a Resume Refresh”

Finding Your First Job

school booksMany of my clients are people who are mid-way through their career and looking at a change in direction, but from time to time I help people just starting out in the world of work. I have provided coaching and resume support to high school students who are making decisions about their future and on the hunt for a part time job.

If you’re a teenage job seeker, here’s some things to help put your best foot forward when finding work.  Continue reading “Finding Your First Job”

Getting Interviews, But Not Job Offers

It can be tough when you’ve had an interview for your ideal job and it’s offered to someone else. It often leaves you questioning ‘Where did I go wrong?’ or, ‘What could I have done better’ or simply, ‘Why didn’t they pick me?!’  Continue reading “Getting Interviews, But Not Job Offers”

Get That Job! – Workshop at Castlemaine Community House

CV

I’m running a three hour workshop to help improve your resume as well as other job search tips. It’s on Monday 9th November from 9.30am at Castlemaine Community House, 65 Templeton Street, Castlemaine.  Bring your current resume. Materials and handouts will be provided including a template to write your resume from scratch! Morning tea will also be available.  Continue reading “Get That Job! – Workshop at Castlemaine Community House”

Choosing The Best Path

Beach Sunset PathwayHave you been faced with a choice and not sure which direction to take? This happens to all of us at some point, and to varying degrees. Indecision can be stressful, especially when something’s riding on it, such as getting a job.  I’ve seen people struggle with decisions relating to their job search and career, when they’ve needed a sounding board to work things through. Continue reading “Choosing The Best Path”

An Attitude of Gratitude

thank you

When someone has done you a favour, helped you out or given their time, I assume it comes naturally to most people to say “thank you”. I was raised to write thank you cards to long distant family members when receiving presents, so for me its second nature.

In our busy lives, sending a note of thanks can often be overlooked and that’s ok. However, if you DO make this gesture it can have a positive impact in a number of ways: Continue reading “An Attitude of Gratitude”

Job Search Toolkit

Job Search Toolkit

March has been a crazy month for me, juggling a busy workload (which is great), plus volunteering for our local community event, Harcourt Applefest. This means any blogging or social media marketing for my business has fallen by the wayside. So, for my March post I thought I’d share some extra helpful job search tips. Continue reading “Job Search Toolkit”

How to tailor your resume towards the job you want

When you are applying for a particular role in your chosen field, does your resume show roles that Resume Pic Scrabbleare significantly different to your career path? Does your resume have the hiring manager scratching their head and wondering “is this person a librarian, admin assistant or barista?” Continue reading “How to tailor your resume towards the job you want”