It's not who you know, it's what you know.
That's right, I just switched it up. After all, you wouldn't know anyone if you didn't know anything. Applying your knowledge strategically is the major key to success in networking. Using your knowledge will open doors to new networks while enhancing your ability to seize life-changing opportunities.
When it comes to networking, I've seen numerous people from various industries make colossal mistakes. From inebriating themselves at Chamber of Commerce meetings to sticking around late just to stick around late at night, most people end up wasting precious time during their networking endeavors.
Obviously, there are different approaches to take. You don't have to be wealthy or influential to try them, but I promise you that these easy networking tips will help you get to the next level in your professional life. The truth about networking is that people want what you have and others have what you want. However, you need to dig deeper if you want to find the gold.
Here are seven networking tips from a real millionaire:
1. What you know
This leads you to who you know. Experts respect experts, regardless of their industry. If you can teach me something new about cheese or what it's like wearing a hard hat at a construction job, I'm listening. Conversations like these add a new perspective and zest to your life. Plus, people are looking to learn new ideas every day.
A savvy networker is exchanging ideas all the time. They do not withhold their knowledge, but instead disseminate their ideas relentlessly. They drop hints and clues while strategically planting seeds among everyone they meet. In short, successful networkers spread ideas widely without expecting reciprocity from those they meet.
Many opportunities are gained by a simple email or phone call. Over time, you'll learn that the fortune is in the follow-up. I'm sure you've heard people say, "Yeah, I'll get back to ‘ya on that one!" Frankly, 95% of people don't follow up because they have nothing valuable to offer in the first place. Never let that be you. Follow up at all times.
Whether I'm on the phone, email, or face-to-face, I immediately pick a specific time on my calendar to call certain people. It's a simple system that has added millions to my bank accounts. I have also been able to retain resourceful friendships for a number of years because of this easy habit. And, remember, people aren't as busy as they say they are, so make an effort to reach out.
3. Online presence
As we approach the 20's in the new millennium, people are heavily relying on social media platforms and websites to gain information about you. Whether if it's before and after your conversations with them they will Google you to snoop for more details. If they don't find what they're searching for or like what they see, they never bother contacting you.
This means that all of your social profiles must be top-notch. While amateurs are saving money and attempting to do it themselves, professionals are becoming overnight experts by investing in marketing companies that can do it better and faster than they ever can.
No matter where you go, people judge appearances first, but they judge language second. In regards to your language, your words should create beautiful images that others can relate to. You must consistently paint pictures in the minds of those you speak to by selecting the most profitable words. Your language either builds or destroys your message you want to convey to others.
When it comes to language, most people conform to old clichés and platitudes, which often bores your listener. I usually know who I'm dealing with, especially when I hear people say, "Will Do" or "No Problem." Moreover, words are the tools that will release the ‘heavens of you mind’. You should read the dictionary on a daily basis and refine your vocabulary to find out what I mean.
For many years, I lived in a small town called Camp Hill, Pa. It was a wonderful place to live, but my opportunities to succeed at the highest level were limited. There were virtually no signs of success with the people in that small area. Like a promising sunflower in a small mailbox without any sunshine, it didn't allow me to grow to my fullest height: 6 ft.
A mentor of mine told me, "Daniel, you've got to move to a different zip code!" After that life-changing advice, I moved to Northern Virginia within six months. I now live in one of the finest communities among the richest people I've ever met. I often meet famous people, even when I go to the gym or pick up milk at my local grocer. Move if you must.
Related: 7 tips to becoming a millionaire
6. Social class
You must also have the right position. As I was growing up, my family was on welfare for a dozen years in the Bronx, so you can't tell me nothin'. However, my ways have changed substantially and I've discovered more eloquent ways of expressing myself. How you act plays a big part in where you go. What social class do you want to be in? What are you willing to do to get there?
I can earnestly tell you that most millionaires don't hang out with thousandaires, especially if they act like it. However, some rich folks will give you a chance as long as they see you trying. You must make your best effort to look, act, sound, and think like the person you want to become. Upgrade yourself and learn the ways of the social class that you'd like to be associated with. You'll get there!
7. Give yourself away
Your success is in direct proportion to how easy you make it for others. If you find ways to serve people without recompense, you will be rewarded with an immaculate network of those who want to serve you. You must be relentless in your giving and add value to everyone you meet. Volunteer your products and services generously.
Being resourceful is the key to networking like a millionaire. You may not always think that you have something to offer, but even a simple compliment or guidance can dramatically alter someone's life. Continue to sow your seeds abundantly and let nature do its work. You'll find that many of them will grow faster than you could have ever imagined!
Successful networking must create and maintain relationships. Moreover, you need to find a way to transact with those you meet. You must seek ways to offer solutions to other peoples' problems. If you're not transacting and making decisions at one point or another, you're simply not networking. And remember, be interesting. Enjoy building your rich network!
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.
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