Terminal Value

Effectively Advancing your Career Through Networking

Doug Utberg

Business Growth Authority | Technology Strategy & Resourcing | Cost Optimization Expert | Business Process Architect | Financial Strategist | Founder - Terminal Value Podcast

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The conversation I want to have today is about networking to build your career. I don’t necessarily mean this just in the context to help you get a better job, but also in the context of growing your business. The principal thing that you’ll need to do in order to effectively advance your career is going to be networking with the people who will be making the decisions that can help you along. Those will even be people who make the hiring decisions, people who make promotion decisions or the people who will be making decisions to buy your product by your services etc. Another variation of this is networking with the influencers who can help you get in front of your target audience. One thing I really had to learn in my life is just how important that is and that pretty simple, but considerably harder to do than a lot of people realize. One of the most effective things you can do is to ask for people’s input. There are a couple of different ways you can do this. For example, one of the ways that I network is through my podcast. Typically, I will book people as guests on the podcast and once I’ve had a half hour conversation, usually we’ve already established some kind of relationship. So if I wanted to reach back out to them for a follow up conversation, most of them would say yes. Another way is if you are writing an article that you’ll be publishing either on a blog or in a journal and there’s an industry expert who would ordinarily say no to your sales call flat out. There’s a much better chance that they will be willing to take your call if you’re interviewing them for an article that you are looking to post. There are all kinds of different permutations of how you can do this and other strategies to network with people on different social media platforms. One thing you can do is identify who you really want to network with, then unfollow all the other people in your current social account. Note that I’m assuming you’re going to be using social now as a producer and as a business tool, not as a time-wasting mechanism. From here, follow only the influencers and people who really want to build that connection with. When they post things, make sure to like and comment on as many things that they post as humanly possible. Over time, time they will start to recognize who you are. Then, when you reach out to connect with them to get their input on an article or for a podcast, they’re much more likely to say yes. At this point, you will have built a relationship. Once you build a relationship now you can get to the point level and you can start asking them about, say, the positions that they might know about that might be coming available either in their organization or other people’s organization. You can ask them about how to network and to connect with decision makers in their organization, or if they could refer you to some of the people who would be making decisions for a certain business account, or if they know particular influencers who already have gathered the audience of your target customers. Ultimately, effectively networking into these groups of people is really what will propel your career forward. So what I would recommend doing is investing a lot of deliberate effort into how you do your personal and professional networking because in truth, that is really what is going to determine the trajectory of your overall career. With that said, there are some people who can successfully navigate completely within a hierarchy at an organization, but even then, it’s still important to make sure to understand who the players are within that corporate hierarchy. Once you understand who they are, reach out to them regularly, get their input on things regularly and, find out if there are ways that your team can serve their team more effectively. If you do this, over time, you will develop a very strong network that will be there when you need it in order to either grow your business or grow your career.

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