Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Networking secrets revealed!:

There is a secret to effective networking - even if you hate it.
By Sharon Zeev Poole
Date: June 06 2014
Editor Rating:

The first step on the road to success is building a network” -  well that is what Sir Richard Branson said, and of course you would expect no less, coming from the founder of one of the biggest network brands in the universe.

Sure, with a net worth of $5 billion I certainly take his point on board. However, building a business network often takes investment of valuable time and budget that not all of us have access to. Despite Sir Richard’s success, as the owner of independent agency Agent99 PR, I haven’t been completely convinced that this is the best use of my time and resources.

Take Benjamin Franklin on the other hand - a leading author, printer, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, and diplomat, and also rated one of the fifty greatest entrepreneurs of all time. Do you think Franklin had time to meander through industry conventions, sign up to business groups and make chitchat around the finger buffet at organised networking evenings? I think not.

In launching and growing my business, I have clearly understood the importance of networking to start-ups and small businesses to cement your presence in your industry, rub shoulders with key players and open doors to unimaginable business opportunities. However, the key is to be strategic in order to conserve resources and energy.


Make friends with your competition

They do say keep your friends close but your enemies’ closer - in my case I keep both very close to hand. At the same time as launching Agent99 PR, one of my closest friends founded a Sydney based public relations agency. We have always used this to our advantage, by suggesting contacts, sharing business advice, industry advances and encouraging each other with similar goals.

Plan, aim and get straight to the point

The receptionist may be super friendly, but unless she is related to the CEO of News Limited or first cousin to Donatella Versace, she may not be a true candidate to your networking group. Listing, researching and targeting players is key to steering time wasting and pointless chit chat. Brainstorm goals and think of more obscure industry players which may be your way in to achieving these. Consider: what part of your business would you like to improve? Will you develop further relationships? Will this be the gateway to further business opportunities?

Step up your communication with social media channels

LinkedIn, Facebook,Google+ and Twitter are quick and accessible tools to interact with fellow peers, trade experts and business pursuits. Be proactive in following and liking key players, commenting around trends and news stories, and responding and starting conversations with newcomers on your own business accounts.


Dismiss contacts that you already know

So you have scored the mobile number with of a top tier journo, socialite or executive- you have made it this far so why stop there? Business networking is a bit like dating- you need to go on more than one date to get the goods. Call me old fashioned, but putting time into a few solid relationship is a sure set way to secure sustainable results.   Arrange coffee meetings and lunches with existing contacts and you never know; it might just pay off a couple of months down the line.

Let your contact list expire

Particularly in public relations, contacts are forever changing thus it is vital to keep up-to-date with role changes, resignations and promotions to stay in the loop. Ensure that your contact list is relevant by signing up to trade newsletters and monitoring leading websites for up-to-the-minute details around movement in your industry.

Use the same method of communication for everyone

Tweets, comments, videos, emails, phone calls, business cards, or plain face-to-face meetings; there is a whole assortment of ways to approach people in this day and age. The important thing to remember is everyone has a preference, so assess which method of communication is most affective for the individual.

Waste time at untargeted networking events

If you are going to make the effort to attend an event to network, do your homework and make sure that your target audience will be there.  Ask for a guest list ahead of time and decide who you want to meet.  Arrive early and make sure that you seek them out and introduce yourself.  Otherwise, you’ve just wasted another $150 on a fancy hotel lunch that you just didn’t need!

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Recent Comments
0 Total Comments
Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:33343

Your Comment has been posted
Related Articles
Small businesses are suffering and it’s time for business owners…
Read more
You never know when you might need your CV in…
Read more
Business owner and mum says continuous learning is the key…
Read more
When is the 'best' time to have children? Kate says…
Read more
Cry babies

Dry your eyes!
The newest additions are on their way from the Babies who cry real tears!


Latest Tech Used In Shipping Containers
Read how the shipping industry has revolutionised

Motherpedia cover-2

Win 1 set of a 4-book hardcover illustrated boxed set
Barbara Murray’s new 4-book Sound Stories is perfect for parents and educators and could assist with NAPLAN results

Motherpedia cover (4)

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest Australia
Get ready for this celebration!

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Moonlight lifestyle

Moonlight Cinema to bring…
Moonlight Cinema announces brand new Western Sydney venue

Screen shot 2019-11-26 at 8.29.12 am

Your Magical Christmas Wonderland…
Adventure park is about to light up the night sky with its "Christmas Festival of Lights"

Screen shot 2019-11-21 at 11.11.36 am

The Preston Market Gets…
It's time to feel pumped up for the holiday season!


Bunnings team members get…
Help raise funds by buying a snag or donating at your local store.