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In the last blog post we looked at the whole process of creating your networking strategy. In today’s blog post, we will look at the first stage in the process – creating your networking goals.

Creating your networking goals is a two step process. The 1st step is to look at your overall business or career goals.

The second step in the process to identify your networking goals is to identify the networking activity goals you will do to get there.

Rather conversely, this second step is the last part of the process to build your networking strategy – and the first part in building your networking plan!

What do you really want to achieve via your network?

If you don’t have this big goal clear in your mind, it’s going to make it very difficult to make your networking activities, actually happen, because you are don’t have sufficient enough motivation to do any or some of these things:

  • go into twitter daily
  • head out to a networking breakfast after a long, and I mean long, hard day in the office
  • pick up the phone and speak to someone you haven’t connected to for a while
  • make the effort to go into LinkedIn regularly and join in the conversation

Some examples of the ‘big’ goals I am talking about include:

  • Use my network to generate referrals to build new recurring client work of £10k every month
  • Use my network to find a new job in 6-18 months time
  • To help find your big goal for networking, it’s worth reflecting on the four reasons that people typically go networking:
  • Build their support community
  • Build their profile
  • Find and win business
  • Build their knowledge and expertise base

It’s absolutely fine to network for all, one or some of these reasons – just as long as you are clear about your motivates and how this helps you. For example, I am currently deliberately building my network with the mothers of children who play football. This is primarily to help me strengthen my support community, so that I can get my two children to two difference places at the same time. Let’s be honest, the pick up and drop off from school is far more enjoyable when you can have a good natter to someone you know and like!

Before setting your ‘big’ networking goal, or goals, think about the different roles you play in the different facets of your life. For example, when I network I am:

  • aiming to find and win business, primarily through strategic partnerships
  • building my personal profile
  • building my support community amongst the mothers at the school gate.
  • A good way of helping you identify your big networking is to finish this sentence:

Complete the following sentence for all the different roles you play in your life…

I will use my network to …..

Now that you have your ‘big’ networking goals identified, it is time to consider the next stage to building your networking strategy, audit. This is where we take some time to review before risking throwing the baby out with the bath water. Return soon for the next post……