I’ll confess, I am a coach… and what do all coaches do in early Jan – persuade clients, potential clients and anyone who they know to set goals.

But don’t take my word for it…

“The number one reason why some people get work done faster is because they are absolutely clear about their goals and objectives and don’t deviate from them

Brian Tracy, author of ‘Eat that Frog[1]

I might as well be hung for a sheep rather than a lamb, and carry on talking about how to set a meaningful goal for your networking activities in 2011.

Before we go any further, it’s useful to think about some of your motivation and purpose for networking. After all it takes dedication and discipline to eat breakfast at stupid o’clock every week, find time in your day job to chat to other people in the company or go into a social networking site daily:

  • What are you hoping to achieve more of, for less time and effort by improving your ability to network?
  • If I could wave a magic wand, and grant you one wish, what would you ask for? More business, a promotion, a better job, a bigger support network?

Close your eyes for a few moments and try and visualise what success you want to achieve. What does your inner voice say to you? What do you see in your mind’s eye? What feelings are you experiencing?

Then, complete this sentence:

My networking strategy will help me achieve __________________ (fill in with what it will help you achieve) by _______________________ (fill in with a date by when you want to achieve this.

Here are some examples of networking goals:

My networking strategy will help me find a new job of equal or better pay, less than an hour’s travel from my house, working for a retailing company, by Dec 31st.


My networking strategy will help me find 5 new clients every month, each one spending at least £500 with me, by Dec 31st


My networking strategy will help me fill the current vacancies within the finance team, without having to use a recruitment agency, by Dec 31st.


My networking strategy will help me to find a publisher to commission my book, by Dec 31st.

Now take a look at what you have just written and be honest with yourself.

  1. Is this your goal? You are far more likely to achieve your personal goal if you ‘own’ your goal, rather than trying to achieve your boss’s, business partner’s or partner’s goals for you.
  2. Is this goal realistic? For example, growing your business by ten times in the space of three months by networking alone is probably not realistic.
  3. Does your goal have a fixed date? Summer is not a fixed date, 31st July is a fixed date.
  4. Can you measure your goal to know whether you have succeeded or failed? ‘’Be a better networker’ is not a measurable specific goal. “Win 5 new clients for the next three months” is measureable AND specific
  5. Is your goal SPECIFIC? Can your goal be visualised? For example, you can easily visualise a monthly report showing five new clients being won each month.

If you have answered ‘no’ to any of these five questions, then go back and revisit your networking goal(s) until you have them right.

What’s your networking goal?


Written by Heather Townsend. I help professionals become the 'Go To Expert'. I am the co-author of 'How to make partner and still have a life', 'The Go-To Expert' and the author of the award-winning and bestselling book on Networking, 'The FT Guide To Business Networking'. To find out whether I can help you read 'is this you' Connect with me on ,  LinkedIn and Twitter 


[1] Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy ISBN 978-0-340-83504-3 (affliate link)