All Articles Tagged "networking"

Speed Networking: How To Brand & Promote Yourself In 2 Minutes

July 15th, 2014 - By Karen Taylor Bass
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Welcome to our weekly column, Reset. Written by Karen Taylor Bass, this column, published each Tuesday, is about life lessons learned and mastered mentally, spiritually, and physically and how they contribute to a successful life and career.

 

You have limited time/resources and your brand needs leveraging to score a potential client or employment. How about a little speed networking at an after-work affair, conference or mixer?

Speed networking is a creative way for entrepreneurs to meet substantial business contacts, secure referrals and network in a friendly, uplifting environment, in a matter of hours.  Networking is the best tool to secure an opportunity. Now you can expedite the process while promoting your brand — and yourself — in under five minutes with no hassles in a relaxed setting.

Like many entrepreneurs, I understand the importance and value of time, talent and worth. My brand is Karen Taylor Bass, PR Expert, and “Brand Mom.” My business is consulting corporations, entrepreneurs and individuals on how to position their brand via media campaigns, PR coaching, while simultaneously positioning myself as the go-to expert as it relates to all things strategy and branding. How is this done? By spicing up the networking with some speed and momentum.

I’ve tried countless strategies to secure new business and keep existing business. Although technology is an amazing tool with very little filter, nothing beats the old fashioned way of doing business — face-to-face.

Making a pitch to someone involves nerves, sweaty hands, and maybe even a forced smile or two, all while trying to be genuine in some way. A valuable lesson I learned was pressing RESET and getting comfortable with speed networking to grow my brand. When things get stagnant, you must shake it up and go back to the foundation to stand out.

Karen Taylor Bass’ tips to speed networking:

Do’s:

Prepare a smart and succinct two-minute brand pitch. Engage your colleague and promote your expertise.

Listen. Often a lost art form, however, the best way to communicate and learn.

Collect business cards and meet new colleagues.

Engage, promote and be the brand you want to be.

Take notes on new business contacts, writing down keywords to remember the person for a follow-up.

Work the room during the reception to get out of your comfort zone.

Follow-up with all potential contacts and referrals within 48 hours.

 

Don’ts:

Make a poor pitch. Make certain your pitch is interesting and includes the basics along with a tag line (what your business is known for), target audience, your niche and any accolades you’ve received

Lack of confidence. Believe in your brand each and every time.

Fail to follow-up. It is reported that 90 percent of business leads are not procured. What’s the point?

 

Speed Networking Reset: Invest your time and money to network strategically in a controlled environment with decision makers and doers with the goal of securing an opportunity. Think that way and you can make it happen.

And check out this site for a little more detail on speed networking and various events.

Karen Taylor Bass is a best-selling author, PR Expert and understands that life only gets better when you press RESET. Follow her @thebrandnewmom

Creating Your Career Crew! 10 People You Need In Your Professional Network

May 30th, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Online networking is all right, but in-person contacts are way better. A growing number of companies, according to Forbes, are selecting their next candidates based on employees’ recommendations. So you can spruce up your LinkedIn profile all you want, but the best way to truly strengthen your job prospects is to build an in-person network.

And we’re talking about creating a network with quality, not quantity. As you expand your professional crew, you must make sure you’re being quite selective in whom you’re allowing into your circle. To help cultivate your career crew, we’ve listed 10 people that will help brighten your professional future.

With Changes In The Music Industry, Kelly Lynn Jackson Used Networking Skill To Forge A New Path

April 22nd, 2014 - By Karen Taylor Bass
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Welcome to our column, Reset. Written by Karen Taylor Bass, this column, published each Tuesday, is about life lessons learned and mastered mentally, spiritually, and physically and how they contribute to a successful life and career.

kelly lynn jackson

Let’s face it: there are many who have not mastered the art of networking. According to Webster’s Dictionary, networking is the act of building “a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.” Real talk, networking is working a room, staying in contact with people, and making memorable impressions where you are kept in mind for opportunities.

Upon her arrival to New York, from Flint, Michigan, Kelly Lynn Jackson landed internships through networking with major companies like RCA Records, EMI and Columbia Records, back in the music industry’s heydays.

Jackson worked at StepSon Entertainment, a record label created by marketing genius, Bill Stephney. His eclectic roster of clients has included reggae artist Buju Banton and comic/screenwriter Paul Mooney (who has written for Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and a couple of Wayans brothers). Jackson credits StepSon with teaching her the entertainment business and the art of networking and reinventing. She saw firsthand the changes in the music industry with the rise of technology and music downloading, which has led to anemic sales and massive layoffs. Kelly Lynn Jackson among them.

“The music industry was not healthy in the early 2000s. I saw many people I admired lose jobs, homes, self, and had challenges finding jobs because they were not accepting the change. I had to do something and decided to go back to school and press reset,” she told us

I recently chatted with Jackson, now the supervising producer for SiriusXM’s Shade 45 show “Sway in the Morning,” about how she pressed RESET in her career.

MN Business Tip Of The Day: Visit Your Neighbors

March 4th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Some of us operate like we have tunnel vision. You get to the office, turn on your computer, sit, work until day’s end, and go home. Repeat the following day.

Instead, take a moment every once in a while to say hello to your next door neighbor. You don’t have to talk about something every day. And hopefully, this isn’t a forced interaction where you’re bringing up the weather or what you’re eating for lunch each time. But you should take a moment to speak with the person (or people) in your vicinity about what’s happening on the job, a great book you read, or a movie you saw.

Speaking with your colleagues makes you accessible. When you’re accessible, you’re asked to participate in projects, you’re asked for your expertise and you’re invited to join in on different office activities. All of this paves the way for you to interact with people who might open doors to other opportunities, whether at the company you currently work for or with other outside interests and organizations.

Basically this is another form of networking. And as we’ve stressed here time and again, networking is an important part of the career development process.

So take a moment on your way to the water cooler to say hello to the person at the next desk over. It may be the start of something good.

5 Ways To Become a Better Networker This Year

March 3rd, 2014 - By Rana Campbell
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I’m sure many of you have heard the saying,  “It’s not what you know but who you know.”

Many of the career opportunities that have come my way have been because of connections I’ve actively made (and maintained) in the past.  For me, networking has been an extremely effective way of advancing professionally.

Here are five ways that you can become a better networker in 2014.

Tips For Getting Over The Fear Of Networking

February 13th, 2014 - By Blair Bedford
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Networking is intimidating for more people then you may think. In almost every survey or report on the biggest professional fears, or fears in general, speaking in public and networking are sure to be close to the top of the list. Being driven by the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone to network could cost you opportunities for professional growth.

With networking, you are not only making professional connections, but cultivating valuable relationships that could help build your career or even your personal life. With this in mind, here are a few tips to overcome the fear of networking that could help you lose the intimidation and gain great contacts.

MN Business Tip Of The Day: Network Smarter

February 10th, 2014 - By Michelle Alerte
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As important as networking is, it’s important to stay fresh on the ways to ensure you and your business get in front of new people and that you develop lasting and lucrative relationships. The benefits of meeting and working with new people are a major factor in a company’s success. Keep these three things in mind to make promoting yourself a cinch at the next networking event:

Describe Your Business In One Sentence. Being able to describe your business without taking 20 minutes is critical. Avoid buzzwords and jargon however when trying to bring your description down in length. Instead imagine telling a third-grader what your company does. Focus on the benefits of your company when formulating the description.

Listen More Than You Talk. The truth is listening can open doors. At your next event, be sure and ask questions about other people’s businesses. While the person is happy to answer, you’ll be able to gain insight into what they need and how you might be able to work together.

Focus On Quality, Not Quantity. Remember, networking isn’t about collecting all the cards in the room. It isn’t a reverse game of BS. Networking is about making real connections with people. Pay attention to what you can give the other person and not solely on what you can get from them. In this way you’ll find true, lasting relationships that will naturally push your business to higher levels of success.

How To Make “The Black Tax” Work for You

February 7th, 2014 - By Kara Stevens
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I was well into my mid-twenties before I heard of “the black tax.” In fact, I discovered the concept of “the black tax” when I was watching the movie Something New. In this particular scene, Sanaa Lathan, a talented accountant, was on a date with Blair Underwood, another ambitious professional. They were commiserating about life on the “plantation” (meaning the corporate structure), and how they had to incur “the black tax.” This meant that as black folk in predominately white settings, they had to work twice as hard, be twice as good, and be more on top of things than their white counterparts.

The belief in a “black tax” does a disservice to us emotionally and psychologically, which ultimately negates the underlining impetus of the tax, which is to make us more productive, creative, and professionally outstanding.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not to say that institutional racism, microaggressions, and stereotype bias are not in full effect in most, if not all, workplace settings. They are. Even white boys with criminal records have a better chance of getting employment than black men with no criminal past and several degrees.

So, I get it.

I just think we need to reframe our energy and thinking around this “black tax” so it works to our benefit, not our detriment. Since we already know what it is like to grind, hustle, and be extraordinary, usually behind a computer and alone, let’s use this skill set to build and sustain relationships that will lead to both personal fulfillment and professional success instead of consistently leaving unrecognized and underappreciated.

Let’s grind around organizing opportunities to learn, connect, and grow with people that look like us in and outside of our workplaces in a strategic and meaningful way.

I am currently reading Never Eat Alone and Other Secrets to Success One Relationship At a Time by Keith Ferrazzi. Ferrazzi says it is important to leverage relationships in all of your social and professional using a Network Action Plan. To create one, divide a blank piece of paper into thirds or a Word Document into three columns. Under the first column, list three to five of your immediate and long-term career goals.

For each of your goals in the first part, name one or two people that can help you achieve this goal in the second column. Start thinking about people that you already know and people that you would like to know.

Finally, in the third column, start thinking about the best way to reach out to the people listed in column two. If the gatekeeper to your goal is someone you know, a simple call and request may be all that you need to help you reach your goal. On the other hand, if you realize that the person you need to talk to is someone you don’t know, then you will have to start small and build their trust. Try reaching out with a genuine compliment about the work that they do via email or at an in-person gathering, providing them with ideas that can make their jobs easier, or introducing them to people that can help them with their personal or professional goals.

We don’t have to own “the black tax” in the way that it has been presented to us. As a culture, we invented the remix. We took scraps and made it soul food. We took our plight and made hip-hop. The black tax? This ain’t no different.

Connect with Kara @thefrugalfeminista and at her site The Frugal Feminista.

Get Rid Of Toxic Energy: 10 Ways To Build An Empowering Network

January 31st, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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It’s not easy climbing up your career ladder with broken rungs or slippery rails, is it? You may find yourself falling off or stranded on the same step for a long, frustrating period of time. It’s time for you to take a second look at your network. Do you surround myself with an empowering circle or a team of negative nancies?

Energy can be contagious. If you’re rubbing elbows with a pessimistic fool, that negative spirit will linger. Women need to surround themselves with zesty, like-minded careerists who will give you that extra push to succeed. It’s time for you to snip off the dead weight, flip your hair and say “It’s not personal. It’s business!”

Here are 10 ways to build an empowering, toxic-free network!

Remember Me? Ways To Reconnect With Old Professional Contacts

January 6th, 2014 - By Blair Bedford
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It could get a little difficult to keep in touch with everyone in your Rolodex throughout the years. With innovative outlets like LinkedIn, getting in contact with old networks is a bit easier. Whether it’s to utilize your network to establish more connections in your field or to ramp up your job hunt internally, keeping in touch with your professional contacts is vital to your success.

Looking for a great way to rekindle your network, but unsure of how to facilitate the conversation? Here are a few innovative ways to keep in touch with old colleagues, bosses and your professional network.