It's all about who you know.
This week, I visited Mashable HQ to talk networking best practices on a Facebook Live session with #BizChats founder Tracey Edouard.
We kicked off the chat by selecting two emojis that best represent networking tips. I chose the ear emoji, because listening is crucial in building professional relationships, and the clapperboard emoji, because when you act confident, you start to feel confident. (Thanks, Rebecca Minkoff.)
Here are my top five networking tips. I hope they help you as much as they've helped me!
1. Do your homework. If you're going to an event, check out the guest list. Do some homework on the people attending, and if you decide you want to speak with them, find a few areas of common interest.
2. Ditch the pitch. Be authentic. Networking has a stigma of being transactional, when it should really be about helping people.
3. Smile through your sentences. Research shows people evaluate everyone they meet in terms of warmth and competence. First impressions are everything.
4. Think quality over quantity. Everyone has connectors in their life, but most people only have a few super-connectors. Foster those relationships, rather than spreading yourself too thin.
5. Follow through. The President of the New York Stock Exchange Tom Farley says, "When I think about my own career, I owe every job I’ve ever had to networking. If I had not spent five years after [our] first Atlanta meeting staying in touch with Jeff Sprecher, chairman of the NYSE, through emails and phone calls, there is no way he would have considered me for president."
Check out the full Mashable Facebook Live for more tips and for my number one key to successful networking.