80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking, according to a report by ABC news – proving that who you know has never been more important.
Below we’ll show you how to build and foster valuable online and offline digital marketing connections through the power of strategic networking.
Whether you’re looking for a job, to meet new potential clients or to make valuable industry connections, you can benefit from a little networking know-how.
The Digital Marketing Networking Rules (Online and Offline)
- Give more than you get.
- Know what you want.
- Plan a strategic approach.
- Identify the best events and groups to partake in.
- Get on the radar of influencers.
- Listen and learn.
- Follow up on your promises.
- Be human, be helpful.
1. Plan Ahead
Set Your Objectives:
Decide what you want from attending an event – define the ultimate prize that you would like to walk away with. For example, would you like to secure a job interview, to meet new potential clients or to make your name known in the industry?
Once you have your purpose defined you can get strategic about achieving it. Simply follow the points below to maximise your ROI from the events you attend.
Establish Your Connections:
In advance of the event, find out who is speaking and who is attending. That way you can identify the people you would most like to connect with on the evening. Then create a wishlist of the types of people you’d like to chat with, keeping your objective firmly in mind.
On the night? Ensure that you try and approach at least one or two influencers (people who have built up a powerful presence and strong connections in your industry).
If you’re particularly nervous (and let’s face it – many of us are when facing new situations), why not prepare and practice a few key questions to ask? Ask questions and listen more than you talk – this way you’re showing a genuine interest in other people and what they do. Your questions should be focused on their abilities, their business and their overall mission.
Your best bet? 1. Think of questions that will get your new connections genuinely excited about the conversation. 2. Create questions that will allow you to help them. Another tip? Ask for advice – people love to help other people and demonstrating that you value people’s opinion helps build trust.
2. Don’t Lose Them Now
The Flawless Follow-Up
Now that you’ve put all that effort in to connect with the right people, don’t forget to follow up with a message that packs a powerful punch (a message that offers to genuinely help your new connection with their problem).
But first here’s a few things you can do to warm up the relationship: send them a LinkedIn request, read their blog posts and leave a comment, retweet their content, share their Facebook post, etc.
Then decide the best method to contact them – if they are active on one social media channel in particular this might be your “in”. However, if you’d rather follow up with an email this article provides great advice on how to craft the perfect follow-up. Keep it simple, short, sweet and super helpful. And don’t forget to thank them for their time.
Bonus Online Networking Tips:
- Read this influencer cheat sheet to find out how to connect with and engage with the people that matter.
- Join relevant LinkedIn groups and get involved in conversations to showcase your abilities and industry knowledge. This is a great way to help others too.
Don’t forget to sign up to our free Digital Careers Postgraduate Course. The average digital marketing manager in Dublin earns €68,000 – find out how you can too.
About Zara Burke
Zara is the Digital Marketing Institute's Digital Marketing Executive. She writes about all things digital marketing, including search, social media, email, mobile and Analytics. Her core passions are content creation and small business strategy.