Jul 12, 2018
We all need other people in order to help us grow! Whether
you’re looking for a job, a contact, promoting a service or looking
to collaborate, there are many ways to go about it. In today’s
episode, Jennifer shares some thoughts and pointers on how to
network by building and maintaining relationships with generosity
- Back in May, Jennifer tweeted about requests that she
had received to work for free, which prompted her to synthesize
some thoughts on the do’s and don’ts of networking. She talks about
these communications and their underlying flawed assumptions about
the value of one’s time and energy, and she lays out the following
common situations that can benefit from her pointers:
- Job Hunting. Whether you’re a recent graduate
or looking to make a change, tapping your network for opportunities
means reaching out to key individuals. Jennifer talks about some of
her early missteps on her journey to becoming a speaker and
entrepreneur back in
episode 7 of the Impact Makers Podcast as well some of the
lessons she learned in the process.
- Questions and Curiosity. You may be looking
for advice, tips, or leads from established professionals or
individuals that you think might help you along in your journey. In
our digital age, we are often both the sender and receiver of sales
communications. Whether it be through a job, a startup or personal
businesses, reaching out to individuals is part of the game.
- Audience Appreciation. Many people reach out
to creators to let them know that the content they are producing is
enjoyed and valued. Creating a connection this way can be
difficult, as creators often receive many messages from a wide
range of people.
- With these situations in mind, here are Jennifer’s 5 tips for
reaching out and making connections:
- #1: Do Your Homework FIRST. Before you reach
out, make sure you know exactly why you’re sending a
message in the first place. What are your goals, what is your
purpose and what specifically are you working on? Including this in
your initial communication will streamline your exchange to get
down to it.
- Ask yourself: "why am I reaching out to X or Y person?" Make
sure that they understand why you think that they can
help. Being specific in your request also simplifies things. The
easier it is for them to say yes, the more likely they will do so.
Jennifer tells a couple of stories about what catches her attention
when people reach out to her.
- #2: Referrals from a Mutual Contact. Review
your network to see if you know anyone who has a legitimate
existing relationship (not just a LinkedIn connection) with the
person you want to connect with. If your mutual contact is amenable
to a name drop – or is willing to personally introduce you, all the
- #3: Emails, Voicemails and In-Person Requests.
Regardless of communication medium, be clear with your question and
provide very easy options for follow-up. Be flexible, willing to
travel and be thankful! Show your appreciation from them taking
time out their day to meet or talk with you.
- #4 Persistent and friendly follow-up. We all
have busy lives. If you reach out and don’t get a response, err on
the side of understanding. Who knows why they didn’t respond? For
Jennifer, the maximum number of follow-up communications is 3.
After that, it’s time to move on.
- #5 The Best Way to Get is to Give. Everyone
wants to know that their work matters. One of the best ways to
create connections is to champion the work of others. Sharing their
work with your network and genuinely engaging with their content
over time will help you stand out as someone who truly appreciates
their efforts. You can also recommend them in a business
- Remember, these folks have to eat too! If you’re reaching out
to someone with a service or resource you want to access, offer to
buy it! Expecting someone to offer for free what they regularly get
paid to do isn’t very respectful of their time and energy.
- There are no rules about who can learn from who. Another way to
get noticed is to share what you’ve learned and what you’re working
on, whether that be in a blog, on social media or in a
Resources & Links:
Catalyst Sale Podcast #94 - Gender
Pay Gap, Building Business Acumen, and Networking
Catalyst Sale Podcast #60 - Jennifer
McClure - Disruption & Innovation in HR & Sales
Mike Simmons LinkedIn
The tweet about networking that
started it all…
Impact Makers Episode 7 — How I
Became A Speaker and Entrepreneur
Community Made podcast with Jayson Gaignard
Are you struggling with developing your personal
You can now download Jennifer McClure's Personal Branding Worksheet to
help you ask and answer the right questions so you're making the
Check out another trailblazing HR
HR expert Laurie Ruettiman hosts a podcast called Let’s Fix Work where she speaks with
a diverse array of people about how to change the way we think and
work for the better.
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