Posted on Feb 12, 2021 2021 at 7:00
Know what we are looking for
Face to face or virtually, the first rule of networking remains in effect. We do not contact the same people and we do not participate in the same events that we are looking for a first job or an investor.
Entrepreneur coach Frédérique Genicot advises you to define your objectives and “Map your existing network”, to determine who can provide assistance to reach them. “Whether it is direct help or putting in contact with someone else”, she explains.
Not to do
Registering for all the online events or conferences available in your area would be a waste of time.
Dare to get in touch
While everyone is affordable on the web, virtual first contact is much less natural than chatting over coffee or leaving a conference.
Do not hesitate to contact alumni networks, which are “More qualitative and lead to real support, advice and recommendations”, according to Catherine Oberlé, coach in professional support. His advice for overcoming shyness is to “To detach from the result” : “If the interlocutor says no, it doesn't matter, we move on to the next one”. Another solution to expand your network: obtain the list of participants and speakers for a webinar or virtual trade fair.
Not to do
Do not use a question during a conference to monopolize the floor and present your projects (but do not hesitate to ask legitimate questions!)
Learn about profiles
During a first physical contact, the presentations are done quite naturally and you have to ask questions to show your interest to your interlocutor. Online, the first exchanges should be replaced by research on his profile.
Find out about the experience, activities and news of an interlocutor in order to have something interesting to tell him during the first meeting. “You have to find points of contact or a common past to facilitate the first exchange”, recommends Catherine Oberlé, also creator of the Académie du feminine network. For example, mentioning a talk given by the person, explaining how you got to know the person, saying who recommended you to speak to them. “You have to personalize each contact and show that you are interested in what the person is doing”, adds the coach Frédérique Génicot, author of Goodbye wage labor, hello freedom!
Not to do
Bomb your interlocutor with offers, documentation, proposals from the first contact. Above all, do not be impatient, “As in real life, the relationship is built little by little”, specifies Frédérique Genicot.
Be active on social networks
Being visible on LinkedIn or Facebook will make others want to network with you.
Register on Facebook and LinkedIn groups in your sector, participate in discussions, comment, share your experience, contribute elements of debate. “It's always better if we have already seen the name of the person who comes into contact with us”, explains Catherine Oberlé. Be careful to do it intelligently and without condescension, however.
Not to do
Focus on quantity over quality: “You have to select, it's no use being in 10 groups at the same time and ultimately being absent everywhere”, according to Catherine Oberlé, who advises focusing on three groups. Ditto for content, you should not share anything and everything without an editorial line.