Building connections and networking with influential people is an important step for building your brand and identity which is crucial for your career. But, it’s not easy, in today’s digital world, influencers are flooded with connection requests. So, how do you connect with senior people in your industry?
I am Swati Hirey, an entrepreneur, a Talent Scout, and a Head Coach at Job Boosts. For over two decades, I’ve worked with thousands of candidates, hundreds of stakeholders, and recruiters. Today, I will share with you three strategies to help you reach out, network, and get a meeting with influencers and seasoned professionals in an organization.
1. Mutual benefit
The most important thing for you to remember is to connect with a clear intention. Asking someone out for lunch or coffee might not work in your favour. And words like ‘I admire you’ and ‘I am eager to learn from you’ might work but seasoned professionals hear it all the time. So, lead with currency. Think about an approach that gives them a specific reason to be interested in meeting with you. Remember, the meeting should benefit both parties. So think of the values you can add or offer. Approach them with an assignment for a company blog or brief them with your research that interests them. Look for mutual interests and then think of ways you can contribute. If you make them guess the intention behind the meeting, their answer may be no.
2. Value their Time
Begin with a small request and remember their time is invaluable. You might think it’s just an hour, but as you rise in ranks, your hours get limited and important. So when you are meeting a senior client or an executive for an hour, they may be leaving behind important tasks to put you in their schedule. Make every opportunity count. Seasoned professionals don’t have spare hours to hand out to connections they don’t know. So make sure you email them a few questions or ask for a 10-minute meeting and stick to it. Once you get noticed, you will be able to establish a deeper relationship with them.
3. Establish Mutual Contacts
Contacting influential people and meeting with them through email can be very difficult. So rather than emailing 100 leaders mindlessly and hoping one of them gets back to you, I recommend you look for ways to approach quality and not quantity. Look for mutual connections that can introduce you to them. LinkedIn can be helpful here. Your connections on LinkedIn can help you get a meeting. Many times, professionals make an exception as a favour to a friend who’s asking them.
Networking can be tiring and I know it can get overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Remember to build connections when reaching out to professionals. There’s a competition but if you aim to reach out with a purpose, you will get through. Make sure you keep in mind and are clear about what you need from a meeting when reaching out to professionals. Remember time is money and every opportunity, email, and meeting counts. Look for mutual connections that can introduce you to your potential employer or a seasoned professional. Think of it this way, reach out will get you ahead of the competition and help your career tremendously. So follow these tips next time you network and connect with people in your industry. I can’t wait to hear your success stories!