1. Know your networking style and tailor opportunities to your personal strengths. For example, if you’re more introverted, a structured, intimate lunch group may be a better fit.
2. Target your objectives. Know what your goals are and identify the opportunities that will help you reach those goals. Consider professional, social and volunteer opportunities.
3. Remember: “how can I help you?” When you enter a situation with the goal of fulfilling another’s need – with an honest desire to be of service – you build relationships instead of contacts.
4. Don’t Start from Scratch. Make a list of your existing network to help build your strategic networking opportunities.
5. Stay Organized. Follow up with new contacts in 1 day, 1 week and then 1 month and remember #3; it doesn’t need to be a sales call, it could be an article or an invitation that would be helpful to them.