Earlier this week, Biba Pedron, a woman who’s networking skills I greatly admire, posted a piece on measuring the effectiveness of your networking efforts.
After reading the piece, I left Biba a question, and of course, being the great networker that she is, she promptly left me an answer. To read the question and answer you can read the piece for yourself and gain the full insight.
I wanted to share one aspect from the piece that prompted me to re-evalute my recent networking efforts – are we really measuring the results of our networking efforts? and if we are measuring, are we measuring the correct things? Do we run all over town, as Biba says “people have a tendancy to run to every event in the city and most people even don’t stay that long”, or do we truly focus on what is a good fit for us and our goals, both short term and long term, and really connecting with the people at the event?
I have tried over the years to focus on one or two organizations in which to concentrate my networking efforts. I have an additional criteria for any organization that I join, in addition to the networking opportunities, I want educational opportunities that make every event a benefit to me, even if I meet no one.
What ever your criteria are for choosing your networking events, you should have clearly defined goals for each event that you go to and then look at that goal after the event, and see if it was a good fit. In other words, measure the results of the time that you spent, the cost of any promotional products that you handed out instead of regular paper business cards, the opportunity cost in other efforts that your time could have been spent, transportation costs, event cost, make sure that you include everything.
Most important for any networking effort, in person or online, is follow-up. We are going to begin a series on different follow up methods over the next couple of weeks, so share your best tips for follow up here, and we will include them in future posts.