This time of year is terrific for networking. Many of us are on a merry-go-round of business meetings, children’s sporting events, and holiday parties. Occasions like these are where some of the best connections in business are made, especially for us moms – it’s just how we do business.
But if you don’t have a solid system for follow-up, you could be missing out on developing these relationships. So here are four things you can do to help you make the most of your networking time. Develop these efficient habits and pretty soon you won’t have to remind yourself.
As soon as you commit to attending an upcoming event, enter it into your calendar with a 15-minute window blocked out immediately following entitled, “Networking follow-up.” This will allow you the time afterward to mentally review anyone you met at the engagement and consider whether you’d like to keep in touch.
As soon as you get back to the office after meeting a new contact with whom you’d like to keep in touch, log into LinkedIn and send them a Connection Invitation. I know it sounds obvious, but how often do we get distracted and forget to take this valuable step? If you have trouble remembering, slap a post-it on your desk or somewhere you’re sure to see it before you leave for the event.
Look them up on Facebook and Like their company’s business page from yours if possible; this is more professional than sending a Friend request to someone you’ve just met yet sends the signal that you are interested in getting to know them and their business better.
If you’re on Twitter, look them up and follow them. Then add them to a Twitter List you create such as Networking Buddies or Industry Influencers, a subtle form of flattery for them and an easy way for you to find their posts quickly amidst the chatter.
*Bonus tip! Download these social media apps onto your smart phone so that you can stay on top of your follow-up even if you’re not going straight back to your computer. Again, simple but effective!