Many of the female entrepreneurs that I serve ask me what one networking skill I value as the most important. Although I would like to make the process seem as effortless as possible so that more would engage in productive networking, the answer to the question is that a combination of factors contribute to developing the skill.
One of the proficiencies often overlooked is that of becoming a “curator” of significance. This skill takes a little mindful effort and development of a system, but it is definitely a winner for both you and your client.
Mitchell Kapor said “Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.” Each and every moment of the waking day, we are deluged with information. Thank goodness for Google Search! I don’t have to remember every interesting fact, I can look it up in a matter of seconds. The digital age provides more information than we could ever use; however, as information relates to building a community of loyal supporters and a brand that oozes with distinction, we need to sift through the lenses of our senses and glean that which is worth recycling.
I love reading, period! I am constantly looking through magazines, reading books, newspapers, blogs, etc., and I find quotes, facts, pictures and other information that I call “keepers”. They make me laugh, think, cry, and most often provide guidelines for future strategies and actions.
I have developed folders on my computer and in my desk that speak to all types of topics. I have links on subjects, music, videos and some of the folders are even under subtitles that are more refined and specific.
As I work with new and existing clients, I make it a practice to share information that I have curated over time when I believe it will add more value or joy to their day. Some are light, funny, family and pet focused, while others are closely related to trends in business and industries. I am a big fan of social media shares, but I often send out hard copy articles, because I think that people still enjoy receiving mail from people they admire and respect.
So let me conclude with a call to action. Select one client, prospective client, or team member over a five day work week to develop a deeper connection with through the process of curation. Be strategic. Who would you like to serve? Remember, this is not about “pitching” a sale, an event, or showcasing you. It’s about bringing value and joy to another human being.
Networking is a labor of love and an investment in humanity. I hope you fall in love with it!