Networking in the New Age
Tuesday 11th November 2014 04:01pm
By Networx Sydney
This month’s Networx, held on Tuesday 11 November at The Unicorn Hotel, featured a panel of networking experts who gave their tips on becoming the ultimate powerhouse networker! Our panel included PR Dynamo and Social Commentator, Prue MacSween; Strategic Connector, Amanda Rose; LinkedIn Expert, Mark Warncken and Founder of Amazing Coaching, Lisa Phillips.The panel all agreed that first impressions and presentation will get you a long way when it comes to building your network. When starting out you should have a ‘wingman’ to help you feel at ease when introducing yourself to new contacts. Our panel also agreed that once you have met someone at an event or through work, you should always follow them up to help build the relationship and form a stronger network. Sending a quick email, LinkedIn message or even organising a coffee catch up can make all the difference! Prue MacSween is the queen of building connections and, thanks to her vibrant personality, it has always been quite easy for her. Prue states that investing time in the people you meet will get you to where you want to be. To capture their attention you must always be interesting, hold a conversation and have an opinion (be careful though!). For those who are giving networking a go for the first time, Prue says you must be a good listener, identify your strengths and have a clear understanding of your area of expertise. Prue also had this advice for PRs – pay media the courtesy of understanding what they’re about, do not pester them and make sure you offer them something they can actually use. If you do this, they will remember you and return to you in the future. The key to successful PR is forming relationships with journalists. Mark Warncken is a LinkedIn Expert with more than 30 years’ experience in sales and training. After seeing a gap in the market, Mark combined all his knowledge and expertise to become Australia’s leading LinkedIn Expert! Mark provided us with some practical tips to improve our LinkedIn profiles and tips on using them to meet new connections. When it comes to first impressions on LinkedIn, Mark states that the photo should be the first thing we focus on. Use a professional image that will show future connections who you are – use a professional headshot that relates to you and your industry rather than go for a fun casual shot at wedding or the pub. Next we should aim to fix our headlines, adding in key words that best describe what you do. An alarming 85% of people are not utilising their LinkedIn profiles effectively, so starting with these tips can assist in getting you over the line. Once your profile is set up, it’s time to connect with people in your industry! Mark explains that if we find a contact we are interested in getting to know further, you should take it offline. Give them a call or an email and start the conversation. Mark’s biggest tip is to research and position yourself so that you are constantly ahead of others in the industry. Amanda Rose is a Strategic Connector and the Founder of The Business Woman Media. Amanda explains that her role as a strategic connector is to open doors for people who aren’t comfortable about connecting. She states that every move you make, business and networking wise, needs to be strategic. Her tips are to discover what you are passionate about and develop your brand from there, always be unique, confident and remember to ask questions! Amanda states that when at a networking event it is also important to remember that there is a business hierarchy, so asking for someone’s business card that is ‘above you’ is a big no-no! She also reminded us that building a network doesn’t just happen overnight; it takes time to build your contacts, so you must be strategic about your time! Amanda attends one event a week and schedules in up to seven coffee catch-ups! Our fourth speaker for the evening was Lisa Phillips, Founder of Amazing Coaching. Lisa assists people in feeling confident and empowered. She recommends finding out what way you want to connect and what feels right for you. Lisa states that networking should be something that you enjoy and if it terrifies you consider what else you can do to overcome that fear, whether it be contacting someone through LinkedIn or via phone. Lisa’s advice is to take a moment to think about the people you will meet in advance and go into a room with a positive feeling to achieve the best results. This will make you look approachable and professional. Lisa believes networking isn’t for everyone and also uses positive visualisation to bring important contacts and influential people into your world and suggests this is also an approach worth considering. We would like to thank our guest speakers for sharing their advice to our audience and empowering us to conquer the art of networking and increasing our networx. Our next event is only two weeks ago and is one for those interested in the behind the scenes of high profile events. Creating Memorable Events will feature an international special guest panellist and will be held on 27th November 2014 at Settler’s Hall, Circular Quay. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear from some of the event industry’s best!
Telephone: 02 9957 1352