Episode 133

Episode 133: 3-Part Series: Networking Mastery: Unlocking Your Professional Edge (Part 3)

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What you’ll learn in this episode:

Mastering the art of networking to grow your business or career and create a strategic advantage is something every professional should learn. Today’s episode is Part 3 of our 3-part Networking Mastery Series where we delve into strategies for maximizing the impact of networking events through intentional post-event actions. Drawing from my own experience of building a successful business primarily through networking, I outline a comprehensive approach involving gratitude, personal connections, strategic touchpoint plans, and value offerings, all aimed at fostering meaningful and mutually beneficial connections in the long-term.

Whether you’re an ambitious entrepreneur seeking collaborations or a corporate professional aiming for career advancement, this podcast is your guide to unlocking the power of networking and achieving success in today’s competitive landscape.

In this episode, you will learn to:

  • Why immediate follow-up after a networking event, particularly leveraging social media platforms or digital platforms, fosters strong connections.
  • How having a touchpoint plan builds on initial interactions and maintains visibility so relationships can deepen and grow powerfully over time.
  • Best practices on how to take a value-oriented approach to engagements both during and after networking events whenever possible.
  • How mutually beneficial interactions and reciprocity play a critical role in creating partnerships with new connections (as well as existing contacts)

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[00:01]

Hello, everyone, and welcome to part three of Networking Mastery, Unlocking Your Professional Edge three-part series. I’m Jessica Miller, and I’m so excited to talk to you today about part three of the series. For those of you who might just be tuning in now or new to the podcast, we are doing a three-part series on networking mastery. The first part of that three-part series is what you do before you get to a networking event. The second piece is what do you do when you’re actually in the networking event? And today, we’re going to talk about how do you pull that all through, after the networking event to really help you meet your goals and create a business that is thriving through networking. If you missed those episodes, I highly recommend that you go back and listen to them. And the reason why is because I believe networking is really these three distinct parts of the puzzle. And if you want to do it well, you have to master all of them. And they all build on each other. So go back and check out those episodes around how do you plan and prepare before a networking event.

[01:11]

What do you do while there you’re there so that you can make that super powerful. And then today, we’re going to layer on what do you do after the event to really pull it through so that you meet the goals and the results that you have for networking. So, let’s jump right in because I love this. It’s like the homestretch – the homestretch of networking. So, as I shared with many of you, I have built my entire business on networking. I didn’t even know that was what I was doing. In the beginning, as I shared in some of the previous episodes, I built a multiple six-figure business and I would have, especially digital marketers looking at me, like, I don’t understand what’s going on here. Just like you don’t have a lead magnet, you’re not, you don’t even have an email list. You’re not emailing any of these people, what is happening here? And when I realized it was because I would build relationships, I was networking with people, and utilizing that network to fill my soul, but also grow my business and create a situation in my business where people would thrive. And I have found that if you want to have a thriving business, you must learn how to network powerfully. Because here’s the bottom line, you’re doing it anyway. You’re doing it all the time. And a lot of times, it’s the thing that we forget about. We don’t do intentionally. We don’t have a plan or a structure around it. It’s just kind of happening.

[02:30]

And although it might be working in our business, it can work for you even better. Like if you want to supercharge your growth and your impact and the people that you touch, this is the way to do it. So, I believe that these three steps are the way that you really can get there in a powerful way. And not only to create the results that you want, but for it to feel good for you. Because a lot of the reasons people don’t network, or they have kind of it’s like a dirty word is because it doesn’t feel good for a lot of people because of the way they’re doing it. Whether they’re on the receiving end of it, or they’re on the giving end of it, it just feels out of alignment and clunky. And I’m here to tell you, it does not have to be that way. It can be the complete opposite. And if you do it right, it’s a win-win love fest for everybody. So that’s what we want. So today, we’re going to talk about what happens after you’ve planned the whole thing. And you’ve gone to the actual networking event. And now it’s after the networking event. So many things can happen in that space, right in the space when you’re actually physically networking with people. So, if you don’t have a powerful post-game strategy, you’re going to lose some of the possible results that you could get, if you did. So today, we’re going to talk about pulling it through. How do you take what you’ve created during that networking event, and that you set yourself up beforehand, and pull it all the way through so that you are ensured that you will actually reach the goals that you have. So, I’m going to jump right into it and talk to you about the things that I did after the event that I found to be so fun and so gratifying. And to really drive the results of getting me where I want to go as it relates to creating the things that I want after a networking event.

[04:13]

Okay, so the first thing I do is after I’ve gone to this event, had a great time and met all these people, I go back to all the connections that I have. And so as I alluded to in the last episode, I connect with people in that event, I do not leave if you talk to me at a networking event, you will not get out of there without connecting with me. So I do not leave that event without connecting with people on the spot in that event. I go back to those connections for me. I often do that through social channels. So I will leverage LinkedIn connections and often Instagram to connect with people. I go back to those connections. And I will drop a hey, it was great to meet you. And so fun to talk about XYZ thing. And, you know, I hope we stay connected in the future. I love that work. Neck did hear on LinkedIn or whatever it is, that is sort of like the baseline thing that I do. So every person I connected with, I go back and I say it was great to meet you, I’m so happy that we met, I’m so glad we’re connected here. When I actually connected with him at the networking event just for the people that may not have heard it, or just to remind people, I will connect with them on the spot, like we will connect in LinkedIn. And I drop them a message like, “hi, Susie, it’s just so great to meet you at the XYZ event. And it was fun talking about ABC”.

[05:29]

When I go back in after the event to look at those connections, I’m literally going into those DMs. And there’s a list of all the people that I connected with, and all the things that we talked about, because I literally sent them a message while I was standing there with them at the event when I connected with them, it makes the follow up. So simple, so simple. And let’s face it, if you’re talking to like, you know, 30 people, you may not remember exactly what this person says. So, it’s just a great best practice of being able to kind of catalog it. So, I go back, it was great to meet you. I always, always, always make sure that if I didn’t connect with that person on social media, I am following these people on social media. So some people will hand out a business card or something like that, that’s totally fine. I go and find them I become a super sleuth, I’m like, I want to make sure that we are connected someplace in cyberspace. Every person I know now, except for a very few people are somewhere on the internet, find them and connect with them. That is one of the fastest and easiest ways that you can stay connected with people.

[06:34]

So go back and say thank you for anyone you didn’t connect with, make sure that you connect them to you on social or wherever on the internet. And then for any of the people that you met, where you want to have a deeper conversation, I go in and I send them a personal message. Like, hey, Susie, it was great to meet with meet you at XYZ event. And to talk about this, I’d love to set up a 15-minute call to dig you know talk more about that or to learn more about you and your business, or whatever it is, I am sending them a personal message to book another call to talk to them again. And what I will do in that message is I will either put my calendar link, and if you do not have a calendar link, you absolutely should set one up, it is the simplest thing, it’s free. It does not have to be complicated, simplest thing, put your calendar link, or give them two or three times when you are available next week, like I’d love to talk to you further about what you do, or to follow up on our conversation about ABC. I’m available on Tuesday, at this time, Wednesday at this time and Thursday at this time, which one of those works for you. And you book that next call. It’s always again, about moving people along, right.

[07:43]

So, book that next call. So, any of those people and we all have this, when we’re at an event, we’re like, oh my gosh, I need to talk to her. Again, we need to continue that conversation. Those are the people where you go in, and you send them a personal message. And you say, let’s get on the calendar, and you book that time with them. So, I will always do that. To pull that conversation deeper, I want to deepen this relationship. So, I put that on there. The fourth thing I do, and this is something I found works so powerfully, is I create what we call a touch point plan. And what that means is the power of connecting with people after the event is about nurturing the relationship. And never prejudge a relationship because you don’t know where it might go. And there’s a connection that happens in these events, where you kind of get a vibe from someone, either it’s what they do, or you’re aligned, or just their energy or something about them where you’re like this feels like a match. For those people, I will create a touchpoint plan. And what that means is I am now looking out into the internet. Where are these people showing up? What are they doing? What things do they care about? How can I be in their orbit? And I will sit down and strategically think about how can I foster this relationship by getting into their world.

[09:06]

So that might mean that I create a plan to for example, go in three times a week and make sure that I engage with their social media post. It might mean that I look at where they’re showing up on the internet, maybe they have a speaking opportunity, you know, four weeks from now or whatever. Is it something that’s relevant for my business? Can I go and I put that on my calendar. So I am strategically looking at how I can be in this person’s orbit in a way that I can continue to be visible for them. And I continue to show up. I cannot tell you how powerful this type of a plan is. I have heard stories from some of my clients and colleagues where they have wanted to engage with someone and I’m talking like big name people, you know, the Seth Godins of the world, and they have orbited their world. They have gone and engage with this person on social media. Maybe they’ve seen them at a speaking event. And they just keep showing up. And lo and behold, they’re developing this relationship, because this person actually knows who they are now. And then when they’re like, “Hey, I have this great opportunity, or this great topic that I would love to share with your audience, are you looking for somebody on your podcast”? this person already knows them.

[10:23]

So you want to think about this touchpoint plan, and how you can bring this person into your orbit. Now, sidenote, you don’t want to be creepy and weird, okay? Don’t be weird. You want to be strategic, and you want it to be meaningful and aligned? So you want to think about value? When. So when you’re showing up in this person’s orbit, and you’re interacting with them, you know, in what ways is this benefiting them? Right? If you’re doing meaningful engagement on somebody’s posts, and you’re giving meaningful comments, for example, that is very valuable to them. If you’re telling them, Hey, I loved your episode, and this is what I got out of it, very valuable to them. So think in these lens of win-win. Don’t be creepy and weird, you’re not stalking people, you’re, you’re strategically being visible for them, you should typically interfacing with them in a way that is a win-win for you for you both, and you’re getting something from them, because you’re getting all this knowledge, you’re in their presence, there’s so much goodness, and they’re getting so much fruit from you, as someone with a different perspective, maybe symbiotic audience, and also, you know, you’re receiving their information and giving them feedback. So it’s all very positive. So you want to make sure that you create this touchpoint plan. And you want to make sure that you’re doing that for those people that are kind of, you know, those top tier people. The ones that you really want to develop a relationship with, make connections with, and where it makes sense for you and them. So touchpoint plan, always.

[11:54]

And then the last but not least thing is that you want to offer value to people wherever possible. So as it relates to these people, where you have the touch point plan, or anybody that is you know, in in your network, now that you’ve met at these networking events, you always want to be thinking, what can you give them a value, like, what is in it for them by having a relationship with you. So for example, a lot of times I will have these people in my brain, especially if they’re the people that kind of shake to the top of the list where I’m like, this would be an amazing partnership, I love their work, you know, maybe I think I would love to have them on my own podcast, or maybe speak to my audience, or whatever that is, those people are always in my brain. And I actually have them on a list because they’re on that touchpoint plan. And as I’m going through my days, I’m always thinking about what kind of things could benefit them. So maybe I see an article or a blog or something that is a cool angle related to something that they talked about, I will send that along to them.

[12:56]

Or maybe there’s somebody else I meet at a networking event. And I’m thinking you know who you need to actually connect with Susie, that I met at the networking event last week, and I’ll connect them. Anything that you can offer people of value is hugely, hugely powerful. And you always want to think about that from the vein of win-win. You always also want to think about, you know, what can you do to help them meet their goals? And I think this is an important question to ask ourselves, because sometimes we get this idea in our head of like, what could they possibly want with creating a relationship with us? Or like, why would they want to hang out with me? Or why would they want to come on my pad podcast, we start to think in those ways. But what we forget is that they have goals for their own business. And there are things and expertise that you can offer them, that’s going to help them win. I always ask people on any networking calls, you know, how can I support you? What can I do to help you? And people will tell you, and you want to always think in that way. You want to always remember to that you are incredibly valuable. You are incredibly valuable.

[14:07]

The expertise, you have your heart, the people that you know, your ability to look at their business and their goals through a different lens, sometimes the lens of their client, right, because you could be their target market, but also just the lens of what it is that they’re trying to do. Knowing what you do, and with your audience in a way that could help them. And it is so valuable, it is so valuable. So never forget how much you have to offer in the relationship to and again, if you’re in that servant heart where you’re there for a win-win. There are so many things that you can do to help support people, especially if they’re in the top of your mind, especially if that’s your intention. I promise you if you put that out there to the universe and in your brain, you will be shocked at what comes across your desk that you can then triage to other people. And that Rule of Reciprocity in the universe always comes back, it’s like you get what you give. And what you put out always comes back.

[15:04]

So in that way of, you know, strategically thinking about who you can help and offering them something and keeping that in mind, you just keep nurturing that relationship as you go on. And that takes what you created at the networking event in what you are now fostering, it’s pulling it through, and those touch points down the line, they just continue to compound on each other. And you would be floored at what it’s created. From those interactions. I mean, opportunities that you get people, you meet ideas that come your way, because of one conversation that you had, at an event that you really valued and decided to give value to and you just kept growing and growing and growing. And that also acts like a web, because people talk to each other. And like I mentioned in another episode of this series, you emit a vibe, people can feel it, even outside of what your website is saying what you’re saying at a networking event, you have a vibe, there’s energy there. And when people feel like it is in alignment to help them. It’s like a magnet, and everybody wants to be around you. It’s so amazing. And so that starts to amplify because people talk to each other. And that energy just gets bigger and bigger, and people just start coming. It is like a magic. And it is so good. And it is so fun. And everybody wins.

[16:26]

So that’s what you’re looking for as you nurture these connections through. And what also ends up happening is people start to think about you in that same lens. So they’re thinking about how can they help you, they’re sending you things and people that can be of benefit. And it’s just all so good. Okay, so to recap, here’s what I do, in that phase three, the post networking phase, to help pull everything through number one, I go back to all my connections. And I say it was so great to meet you at the event. And I’m so glad we’re connected here on for example, LinkedIn, I always go back and I think people and I am trying to be top of mind. And I’m also trying to let them know, it was valuable. And I’m really glad to meet them. If I did not connect with somebody on the internet, I go and do that after. So I use LinkedIn and Instagram as a way to connect with people often at my networking events. And then I have my DMs that I put in there immediately when I’m talking to them.

[17:22]

But if someone gives me a physical business card or something like that, I go and I’m a super sleuth, and I find them on the internet. And almost everybody’s on the internet, and I connect with them. So I make sure that I am connected in cyberspace in some way, when I meet people. The third thing is for those people that I want to take the conversation deeper or learn more, I send them a personal message. And I tell them, I’d love to hear more about your business, learn more about you can we set up some time, here’s my calendar, invite, send them that invite. And if any of you don’t have a calendar invite, my recommendation is definitely get one, they’re super easy, and they’re free. But just give them three times that might work and say which one of these work for you. And then book the time. But for those people that you really want to learn more about and make a deeper connection, set up a 15 minute, you know, connection call. And again, you’re pulling that relationship through and deepening it.

[18:14]

So, I always do that for those people that I’ve identified at a networking event that I want to take that relationship deeper. The fourth thing is I create a touch point plan. So for these people that I meet, I really believe that there is an opportunity for us to make each other’s lives better. And there’s something powerful that can happen there. And I want to deepen that relationship even further. I create a touch point plan. And in that plan, I really think about how can I show up in their orbit? It’s about being visible and top of mind. And so how can I show up in their world in a way that is beneficial for them. And also me, beneficial for me because now I’m being visible, they know who I am, I’m, you know, fostering that relationship and deepening it beneficial for them. Because as I engage with them, or give them any feedback, or show up at their speaking events, it’s very valuable to them. And I know that, and I honor that. And so that’s the kind of plan that I am creating.

[19:09]

Don’t be weird. You’re not stalking people. You’re thinking about a win-win situation where you can be in their orbit, and you can really help them with their business and meeting their goals. And then they can help you too. And it’s very powerful. And then last but not least, for those people that rise to the top, I am always thinking through the lens of how can I offer them more value. So, I have that touchpoint plan. There are people at the top of that list, they are ever present in my mind, because I now have an intention of creating a relationship with them. It’s very specific. And when I’m out in the world, I am constantly thinking and scanning my environment for opportunities that could be beneficial for them. So, do I see a blog or an article or something that is relevant to them or their business that I can send them? Is there a connection I made somewhere else at a different event that I could say “hey, you know who you really need to meet? this other person in whose orbit I’m in”, things like that, where I’m constantly thinking about them, and offering those things of value, as we go along as time goes on. And I just continue to touch them in a very powerful way, from the smallest business to the largest business. I cannot tell you how powerful this is.

[20:19]

We are in a world of noise and information, people are getting things constantly, when you bust through that noise, with something that is very intentional, aligned and personal, it just breaks through everything, people can sense it, and they are really drawn to it. Because there’s this mutual, you know, feeling of helping each other. Again, that reciprocity is very powerful. So don’t shy away from continuing to nurture that relationship. Even if you think this is somebody like so huge, you know, how would they even know who you are, I’m telling you, most people don’t go the long mile, they’re not going to nurture that relationship, they’re not in it, for a win-win, it’s usually very self-serving. And when they don’t get what they want, they just kind of fall off, don’t be that person be in it for the long game, because there’s so much that you can, you know, benefit from and so can they, when it’s truly about relationships, and nurturing it. So those are the five things that you want to do to pull through that event.

[21:20]

Really, when you think about the three phases of this series, it starts with the pregame as far as the intention you’re putting out there, and the plan that you’re creating, for you and the impact you’re going to have in the world and on other people, that’s really where it starts. But at the networking event, that’s really where the relationship starts. That’s really just step one. And if you use that as a springboard, and you do it powerfully, and you have a framework around it, like what I’m talking about, especially in this phase three, you can really, really leverage how and where your business grows to, and how you can help people and what that looks like. And it is one of the most gratifying. And I would even say, easiest and feel good, amazing things that has a huge impact on your bottom line on your joy on your impact with people on your clients, that there is in your business, and you get really good at it, it just feels like it’s second nature, because it’s really in a vein of service. And it’s innovative helping each other. And that’s really how you grow a big business, when you know that you’re doing the things that make sense for you, for others and for humanity, frankly. So I want you to take this piece, and I want you to think about this, if you’ve had a networking event, put it through this framework, it is not too late. That’s the other thing I want to say, it doesn’t matter if you had this event four weeks ago. Just tell people you know, sorry for the delay, I wanted to reach out and say it was great to meet you or I loved having that conversation in the middle of January. And I’d love to schedule more time. You know, time is like a vacuum. It goes so quickly.

[22:56]

For some people, they don’t even realize it’s been four weeks. So just do it. Who cares? They’ll be thrilled to hear from you. And just you know, pull it through. That’s what it’s about. It’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship. So just keep fostering it. For all of you that haven’t heard the other phases, go and check it out in the last two podcasts. And we want to hear your success stories. I am so passionate about this because it’s the intersection of growth. It’s super-efficient, and it feels good. And that’s what it’s about. We are all about creating repeatable and powerful assets in your business to grow, to take the things that work and do more of them. We want to hear your success stories around your networking. If you have them. Send us a message to support@jessicamillercoaching.com. We want to hear from you. And who knows we could have you come on the podcast and talk about how you leverage this framework and what you’re doing in your business to make your client you and everybody else super successful and happy. And that’s what we’re here for. So until next week everyone, I cannot wait to hear all the success stories. Have a beautiful day!