Hey, Baby! What’s Your Networking Strategy? by Gelie Akhenblit Hey, Baby! What’s Your Networking Strategy? What is it that a lot of networkers lack in their skill sets? You guessed it… strategy. So, let’s talk about that for a minute. I know you’ve all been the person that’s looked at a networking invitation, saw “free food” and decided that would be a great event to attend. Who doesn’t want free food, a chance to shake some hands, exchange business cards and get out of the house for the evening? Hey, I’m guilty of the same thing…but seriously…I will have to say that free food should not be your deciding factor for attending a mixer. In fact, you should have a monthly, if not quarterly, plan laid out in front of you before you start attending events. This plan needs to include a number of things: For one, figure out who it is that you are trying to target. Is it business women, is it people living in the East Valley, is it anyone that has a Multi-Level-Marketing company? And please don’t say “anyone and everyone.” While that may be true…narrowing that scope and finding your “niche target” is actually going to be more useful than throwing a “giant net” and hoping to catch a few fish. Once you’ve figured out who you want to target…now figure out where these people are hanging out. Does your demographic audience prefer to attend Chamber events? Do they rise early or do the meet for lunch? These are things you need to figure out so that you are doing the same thing you are and going to the same events they are. Now that you know which events you should be attending…the next step is getting clear and setting your intentions. When I first started doing this professionally, I would literally write down on a notepad who I would want to meet at a particular event and keep it in my purse. Once in a while I would peek at it to make sure I was having the conversations I needed to have. Sound silly? It worked! There have been plenty of books written on this topic…and this is a very simplified tip. But make sure you are clear on who you want to meet at every single function. These are some of the most basic tips on building your strategy and this topic could be explored on a much deeper level. Take a look at the calendar on NetworkingPhoenix.com, make sure to use the filter options to filter out the events that you think will be most beneficial to you and plan out your strategy. To create your free networking account or for additional information, visit www.networkingphoenix.com.