Cut the crap – UnNetworking for Business Benefit

BKindred Founder Penny Locaso shares her tips on real connection

No matter how you cut it connection is a basic human need, a need that cascades into our desire to create our business dream. Without connection in our business where would we be? Who would we turn to when the self doubt creeps in and we need that mirror held up and that voice of reason saying it’s just not as bad as it appears? Where would we go to emerge from the isolation and share the mountain of ideas we have to take us to the next level?

So if connection is so important why does it seem so hard to find the right space to connect in a way that is real and value adding to both parties as apposed to contrived and salesy. It’s rare that I meet someone in business who loves old school networking and so I’ve created some simple tips to help you get real with your business connecting:

 

  1. When you meet someone try and avoid the traditional “so what do you do” why not try connecting on a different level a level that removes the elevator pitch and connects you to the real person. Try starting a conversation with…
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What motivates you to get up in the morning?
  • Share with me what’s keeping you awake at night?
  • Why don’t we try something different and both pull up an image on our phones that has some meaning and share them?
  1. Avoid old school networking events and get amongst the human age of connecting events. There are so many great free events available for business owners in and around Melbourne. Take a look at…
  • General Assembly’s free monthly events
  • Download the Meet Up App and search on your passions and interests to find a group that fits the bill and then go forth and meet
  • Follow the Co-working spaces (The Cluster, One Roof, Inspire9, LSX, York Butter Factory) on social media they often have great events for business owners and start ups
  1. My personal favourite is to just reach out to someone you find inspiring and amazing. A simple email that talks to why you love their work, a little of who you are, what you do and how you believe connecting could be mutually beneficial. Shared value is a two way street so you have to be clear on what you can bring to the table.   Don’t underestimate people, I am constantly surprised by the amount of yes’s I get when we reach out to random strangers I love.
  1. Call out to your peers. When I am seeking new collaboration partners or connections in a certain area of expertise I reach out to the networks I already have and ask them to recommend a friend. This type of introduction is so much more personal and like minds tend to attract like minds.
  1. Lastly, there is no shame in using LinkedIn to formalise a connection once it is made. It’s a great way to keep track of who you have met and maintain the connection, you can also keep up to date on what your connections are up to and share what you are doing.