By Courtney Mathew
18 Jun 2020
One of the questions WiBF gets asked a lot is how to create a network and get the most out of your networking efforts. COVID-19 has flipped the script for most people, with no physical events on the calendar, what can you do to network effectively and how can you integrate it into your day with ease, efficiency, and elegance?
For this month’s Brand You session we were joined by Kim McGuinness: mentor, trainer and marketing consultant determined to create as many connected and purposeful people, businesses, and communities as possible. She highlighted the importance of consistency in building your network and gave us practical strategies that we can use for the new future of business as we know it.
After a strong corporate career, Kim founded and ran Network Central, a business network and mentoring organisation for middle to senior managers and consultants for 16 years prior to acquisition by Women’s Agenda in 2015. Kim holds a Master’s degree in Marketing and has developed training programs for both blue chip companies and small business on networks, marketing and personal branding and is the co-author of Network or Perish – Learn the Secrets of Master Networkers so we were delighted to have her share her knowledge with our members.
Adapt to current conditions
We no longer have the element of in-person presence prior to someone researching us. It is no longer personality first. Our online brand will be investigated first. Ensure your online presence is what you want it to be. Google yourself and see what comes up.
Use technology to connect face to face such as Zoom, Skype, Teams etc. Have an agenda, even if it is just for yourself to keep you on track.
Build strong foundations
How strong is the circle of people you hang out with most? Think carefully about who is around you and who builds you up rather than brings you down.
How strong is your personal brand? Personal branding is not about building a fake image or persona. It is about understanding what is special and unique about you and what core beliefs, values, passions, skills, and strengths guide you.
A personal brand is the perception or emotion maintained by someone, other than you, that describes their experience of having a relationship with you. How would others describe you when you are not around? How do you want them to describe you? Use more of these words in your communication. Think about your message and what you want people to remember.
Be strategic. You have the opportunity to re-set your future and be intentional about how you will build your network going forward.
Create elegant habits
Go with your strengths. If you prefer face to face then do that online or in person, if messaging is easier then connect on LinkedIn. Just do what is comfortable for you but do it consistently.
Remember your brand in every interaction. Be genuinely interested and curious about others. Be of service first.
Daily or weekly habits
Being consistent fuels efficient growth, the trick is to make these habits part of your day and remember your brand in every interaction, so you are offering a consistent experience. Always do what you say you will, follow up with people and collect people you like, are relevant and who you can learn from.
Thank you very much, Kim for your practical strategies to help us grow and strengthen our networks. If you would like to find out more or have specific questions, please contact Kim at email@example.com or visit https://www.kimmcguinness.com/
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