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Episode 15 – How to Network in 5 Easy Steps

In today’s episode, we’ll continue in our 3-part series on networking and dive into how to get out there and network in 5 easy steps. 

 

Find the full show notes for this episode at RecoveringCorpoholics.com/15.


As a recap from last week, episode 14, we talked what is networking, how to get clear on your networking goals and how to make networking fun and easy.

 

If there was anything that I wanted you to get out of last week’s episode, were these 2 things:

 

  1. Networking is a 2-way street where everyone, had the ability to give something and everyone has the ability to learn and gain something. 

  2. And two, Setting a networking goal saves you hours of your time of going to events or doing activities that won’t serve your purpose and therefore, you’ll be more strategic and much more likely to reach your goal. 

 

So now that we have that out covered and are feeling good about networking, let’s talk about execution, aka How are we going to go out there and network!  

 

According to LinkedIn, almost 80% of people agree that that networking is valuable to their career, however, 50% of people say they don’t have time for it. 

 

So how can you make networking something easy to do that you can actually incorporate into your schedule? Listen in as I talk now about 5 steps that will make networking something easy to do. 

 

And I want to start off by saying that I titled this episode how to network in 5 easy steps because once you do this work, networking will be easy to do. Just like making a plan, all you need to do is put it in motion!

 

 

So let’s get started.

 

Pre-work: Drill down your goal into something specific.

So, I mentioned last week in episode 14 that you need to have an overall networking goal. Before we get to networking, I want to reviewing your main networking goal quickly as I want to ensure it’s something really specific - if you haven’t already. 

 

For example, you may be looking for a new job. That’s great but not helpful to someone. They need to know what exactly you’re looking for so they can really understand how they can help you. 

 

It’s not a new job, it’s a social media marketing job in the tech world somewhere in NY, NY. 

 

And if you’re not sure what you want but know the field, say you love marketing but not sure what job you want, make your goal – to learn all about the different career options in marketing that you can do remotely, etc. 


This makes your objective when reaching out super clear. Make sure that you have your main goal specific and clear before moving on. 

 

 

Step 1: Determine your Audience.

OK so now that you have your main goal specific, it’s time to get to networking!

 

The first thing I want you to think about is who you want to connect with. Your target group are going to the people who can best support your overall networking goal. 

 

You want to connect with people who are going to help you succeed and that you can help them succeed. 

 

So do this, I want you to make a list of everyone you want to build a relationship with that’s going to support your goal. 

 

Start with close contacts/acquaintances as this is going to be the easiest to start with. They already may know of you or know your network and are more likely to respond.  Even make a note of who could refer you to those people for a warm introduction. 

 

And just a quick side note, if you have someone who you don’t talk to too much who can help you with your networking goals, don’t be afraid to reach out. Build that relationship up. People want to help others. Keep listening for more information on how to personalize requests. 

 

Next, I want you to add to your list people that you don’t know that you want to add to your network. I don’t care if it’s Oprah or Tony Robbins, if you want to make something happen, you can. They do say there is only 6 degrees of separation between people!

 

I mean, it might take a while to reach them (as you need to find the people that will help you connect with them and building those relationships might take time) but anything is possible. But for now, make a list of everyone you want to connect with. 

 

And if you don’t know where to start, think about questions such as, (and these are related to career), where do you want to work, do you want to find people at specific companies or in a specific industry? Is it certain job titles, etc.?

 

To add, your list doesn’t have to be so specific. Maybe you want to connect with 50 partners at work this year. Add them to your list: Partner 1, Partner 2 and so forth. 

 

If you want to build more relationships with people who do marketing or finance, put down finance specialist 1, brand marketer 1, etc.

 

 

Step 2: Prepare for the initial reach out request.

The second thing I want you to do is prepare!! Yes, just like everything else in business, or life for that matter, if we want to be successful, we need to have a plan in place. 

 

Think about what you want to achieve by having that specific person in your network. What is the connection to that person? What do you want them to know about you? 

 

What are you hoping to achieve? How can they help you or what do you want from them? Also, what could you give to them? 

 

This may take time as you really want to make strong connections. People don’t have time for the hi, how are you? Can you chat? You need to do your homework so you can connect on a level that makes the other person feel acknowledged and makes them want to respond to you.

 

And if you can’t find a real way to connect, maybe you wait till you do as again, people don’t have time for things that don’t serve them, well, for the most part, and you don’t want to lose your shot with them. First impressions are key!

 

For example, you really want to get to know this one person, say a VP at a big firm and the only connection you can find to them is that they have kids (and I’m assuming you have kids in this example).  

 

However, telling someone they have a beautiful family and then hoping they introduce you to someone or refer you to an opportunity, probably might not work. If it does, if that person asked them how they know you, that person is not going to talk you up.

 

But what if you were to say. “Wow, you have so many accomplishments to be proud of and a beautiful family. Would you mind if we connected as I’d love to know more about how you made work and family work for you. 

 

I am a new mom and it can be tough and I’d love to have a work/life balance like you. If you ever need any support, let me know how I can help as I want to ensure I am also helping as many moms as I can”. 

 

Now how do you think the person will respond? I know I would be excited to write back and say thank you and then ask about them. 

 

Then the next time I reach out for an intro, that person is not only going to make the intro, but they are going to talk me up because I made them feel good. (remember, how do you want people to feel!)

 

Now if you don't know about family or you don’t want to connect on family, you may have to dig deep. 

 

What articles did that person recently share, who are they following? Identify the connection of how you are going to reach out. Identify what is going to make them answer your request the most.

 

 

Step 3: Build your schedule. 

You may be super eager to get out and network, especially if you know where you need the help but for the third step, I have is to be steady and build out your networking request schedule. 

 

So, you made a list of everyone you want to reach out to. You know what you’re going to say and you want to build those relationships. 

 

So, what do you do? You send out 20 emails one day, 15 the next and so forth. No one answers so you then send out another 15. And then bam! You get 30 responses in one day and they all want to talk to you. 

 

How do you prioritize? The worst thing you can do is ask for help and be eager to get to know someone and then take a week or two to get back to them. They may forget your request or how you made them feel and getting their attention again may be difficult. 

 

I guess you really didn’t want to get to know me after all….

 

Be steady. I recommend starting off by sending out 5 networking requests a week. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed by responses and can take time for each person. 

 

Now if you are in sales, this is different but for when personally making connections, start off with 5.

 

 

Step 4: Be timely and say thank you.

The next step I have for you is to be timely with your follow ups and thank you notes. 

 

Once you talk to someone, always ensure to reach out and say thank you for your time. Thank you notes go a long way in my opinion. 

 

And this goes for anything that you also say that you’re going to deliver on. If you say you’ll send the other person something or connect them with someone, do it timely. Build that trust. 

 

Step 5 – Take notes and determine when to follow up again.

And for the fifth and last tip, take down notes of what you both talked about and mark down on your list when you are going to reach out to that person again. 

 

For the first part, taking down notes, this is important as it builds repour. The person may say they have 2 kids, love skiing and other little things that are helpful to know for building relationships. 

 

When you see a skiing article or something that reminds you of them, that is a quick an easy way to follow up. It shows you listen, care and are working on your relationship. 

 

And if nothing is really mentioned, just summarize your conversation as much as possible. 

 

Not only does this create repour, but it also makes you look good. Just think about when people say to you – yea, I’ve told you that before last time… oh yea.. How could I forget!

 

 

For the second part, following up. This is to continue to build and maintain your relationship.

 

Now if they don’t say much, you could also ask for an update when you follow up. “You mentioned to me last time that you were working on a big project. Just wanted to check in and see how that was going”. 

 

Or maybe you say, “just checking in”. And you could also say, I just wanted to give you an update with whats going on with me. Would love to connect. 

 

Some people may not answer you but let me tell you, then know how much time goes into networking and they will know you’re on your game.

 

 

So that’s how you do it! It may take some work but just like anything in life, it’s a skill to be learned. 

 

Stay tuned next week when I go into networking tips that will make you an extraordinary networker.

 

Stay inspired and live powerfully, 

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