Steps to Networking – Step 41: Get creative

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 7th, 2010

STEP 41: Get creative

Find unusual ways to distinguish yourself and to stand out from the crowd. Use inventive, creative approaches to show targets and potential network partners that you’re someone with flair, vision, imagination and a great sense of humor. Think boldly and give people a laugh. Everyone loves a good laugh; it lowers their guard and makes them more receptive.

Design you business cards, brochures, literature and Web site to attract positive attention. Examine the profile of the targets you want to reach and determine the looks and approaches they like. Identify the styles that are standard for your groups. Then build on their standards, but then play with them, take them a few steps further and push the envelope.

Test the waters before going public. Bounce your ideas off your friends and network partners. Check their reactions and heed their feedback. It’s easy to go overboard, to lose your compass and get lost in playfulness. Always keep in mind that your objective is to attract favorable attention, not to come off as a fool or a clown.

NETWORKING NUGGET

Author Randy Peyser was growing desperate. Her landlords had just informed her that they were giving the great little cottage she had rented for the past six years to their daughter who was about to graduate from college. Finding new housing that would accept Randy and her old Springer spaniel, Cookie, was proving impossible. Since all of the traditional methods of finding housing were not working, Randy decided to get creative. She made a sign that said, “RENTAL NEEDED, INQUIRE WITHIN.” She taped the sign across the front of her T-shirt and went to a giant picnic that was attended by several hundred people.

Randy’s sign was a big hit at the picnic; it gave everyone a good laugh. A woman approached Randy and said that she had a room in her home to rent. Randy explained that she had a dog, but the woman replied, “Oh, that’s not a problem, I love dogs.” Randy checked out the room, liked it and moved in. Although she only expected to stay until she found a larger place, which she thought would be a few months at the most, Randy and Cookie lived there happily for nearly two and a half years.

Action steps

1. Name three ways that you can declare your expertise.
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2. Identify five customers or clients who can give you written testimonials.
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3. List three individuals who you admire, but are beyond your reach that you will write letters to.
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4. On what subjects could you write articles or book?:
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(Excerpted from NETWORKING MAGIC: Making Connections That Will Change Your Life By Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin With Mark Steisel)

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