Stop Networking and Start Connecting!

comments 15
Networking / Personal Development

I think one of the biggest hurdles restricting us in getting out there and making valuable contacts and marketing our work, is a concern, or even fear, of what traditional networking entails.

This doesn’t just apply to creative professionals, but anyone looking to further their careers.

Many people think of networking as something that is manipulative; something that involves engaging with others in an attempt to gain some kind of a strategic advantage for the success of their own careers.

The questions we might ask as we go about networking and marketing our work with a typical networking mentality might be:

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How can I attract attention to myself?

How can I push my own agenda?

How can I get an edge over my competition?

How can I dominate the marketplace?

How can I manipulate them to work with me?

How can I really impress?

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Fortunately, the way in which networking has progressed, especially in the digital age, in which everyone’s credibility is glaringly exposed, we no longer rely on deceptive cheesy grins to win over new contacts.

Making a connection with other people is now the way forward. One’s perspective needs to shift from one of scarcity, to one of abundance, respect and care.

The questions asked by the modern marketing action hero include the following:

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What can I offer other people?

How can I make others feel comfortable?

How can I best express my sincerity and generosity?

How can I help others?

How can I draw out the best in people?

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The key ingredient in all this is that in order to find real success in both your online and offline promotional efforts of making meaningful connections, you need to make a true connection with other human beings. Asking questions like these will equip you with the tools you need to get started truly connecting.

Get out there, start connecting, and success will follow!

Your thoughts are welcome!

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The Author

Alex is a project starter, sometimes finisher, writer and illustrator. He started Red Lemon Club in 2009 with the aim of helping talented creative people leave their mark.

15 Comments

  1. Great advice Alex. It is no longer about me me me! It is all about what you can contribute to others.
    Unfortunately, many fall into the trap of thinking self-promotion is about how you can push your own agenda. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    The best way to succeed is to GIVE and be genuine. Your connections will reciprocate in time.

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  4. Even though your posts seem to sometimes be few and far between, I always love the quality that comes out of them. Thanks for this reminder, it’s always good to be refreshed! I absolutely love the process of helping out and getting to know people.

  5. Glenna says

    Well said, Alex! The more one focuses on the needs of others, the more positive reactions are reflected back. True in any kind of relationship. I don’t think enough people are aware of the value of that concept in business.

    • Alex Mathers says

      Thanks for the feedback guys – glad you’re all seeing how useful these points are 😀 Alex

  6. Alex, I very much appreciate your opinion on this.

    One of the things I do, is teach entrepreneurs about visual communication (and many other things when I digress) and they are always so surprised when I tell them to forget about distributing business cards like Pez candies. Forget about those “networking events” where everyone is there for themselves, and trying to get business off each other, like starved creatures hoping to gain a feast from another starved creature.

    I tell them that if they must exchange business cards, to collect business cards instead, but only of those people that they really clicked with. Then take them out for coffee and make a real genuine connection. Forget about whether your respective businesses can do business together. Forget about selling your product or service. Instead BE of service, help them, connect them to other people, other businesses.

    Myself, I have stopped printing and giving business cards, and found that when people really want to find me, they do. And when we do business, it works!

    Instead if trying to get a bigger piece of the pie, grow the pie, and everyone has more.

  7. Nice quote!!! I like this. Also I agree with you. Really the time is of connecting not of networking. Good work…! Keep it on…

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