3 Tips to Boost Your Networking Strategy

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With over a decade in entertainment and tech marketing, Carol brings a wealth of experience to bolster business development and client services at APartnership. As a publicist at News Corp Asia Pacific, she led promotional campaigns for multiple brands, including the company’s flagships, National Geographic Channels, FX and FOX and managed high-profile properties, such as the American Idol Asian premiere, Mad Men Agency of the Year Award 2009, and Heroes World Tour 2007. Following her work in Asia, Carol joined New York City venture capital-backed companies focusing on smartphone apps, DailyGobble and Relevant Mobile, taking roles in business development, sales and product marketing.

On Friday October 20th, I spoke as the keynote for the Wasserman Center of Career Development at School of Professional Studies’ Annual Networking Night. Here are three important tips I shared about effective networking:

1. Prepare the Pitch
If you’re new to networking, have a “script.” Being prepared with what I wanted to say calmed my nerves about talking to new people. Your script is about ‘storytelling.’ Everybody has something interesting to say. To get started, list 10 interesting things about yourself. Also, think about answering these common questions: “who are you,” “where did you grow up,” “what are you good at,” “what do you do,” and “what are your career goals?” Your pitch doesn’t need to be long, only 30 – 45 seconds, to use as a conversation opener.

2. Identify Places to Go and People to Meet  
Start with people and places you know. Go to events organized by NYU. Stay connected to old friends, colleagues, and professors. Since these people already know you, try to drop a note for holidays or birthdays. Ask to catch up over a cup of coffee. Create a list and try to reach out to at least a few people each month. It’s important to keep track of when and how often you contact people. If you can’t remember, write it down.

Challenge yourself to look for events outside of NYU through www.eventbrite.com and www.meetup.com. I attended a lot of those events and I introduced myself to the event organizer. I gained a lot of contacts and new business opportunities this way. When I first moved to NY, I used LinkedIn to email people at companies where I wanted to work. If you send 10 emails, at least a couple of people will get back to you. People like offering advice!

3. Create Your Own Style
People have different personalities and networking styles. Find a style where you feel comfortable and you can be yourself. Do you feel more comfortable meeting one-on-one? Do you prefer meeting for a meal or over a drink? Do you like to play any sports? Also, you can be the organizer. Put together a sports team, host a party, or invite people for a lunch. Remember, networking can be fun and done anywhere! Just do something you enjoy!

So if you haven’t started networking yet, use these tips to get started. Good luck!