The opportunities to network in New York City are endless. Between Meetup.com, Eventbrite, and the NYU Wasserman Event Postings, we are hardly short of chances to meet with handfuls of useful, diverse contacts within our prospective industries. However, after a networking event, the last thing you should have is only a handful of colorful business cards. The NYU Wasserman Center @ SCPS’ webinar: Business Card to Relationship gave students actionable steps to change that colorful card stock into a meaningful, real life relationship.
STEP 1: Make Your Connection
The sooner you can make your connection with the contact person, the better. Generally we suggest that you follow up within two days. This is the perfect time to ask your contact to connect over a quick cup of coffee or 15-minute phone conversation. You can also reconnect with someone you have lost touch with. Be sure to mention in your message:
Reminder of how you met
Why you would like to connect
How you would like to connect
After your meeting, be sure to follow up with a sincere thank you note!
STEP 2: Maintain the Relationship After Your Contact
(1-3 Months): Send a message to remind your contact of your passion for industry and that you value them as a professional contact. Lend a “virtual hand” by sending an interesting article or blog post related to your industry or invite your contact to an event that might be of interest to them.
(6+ Months): Check in with your contact and keep the relationship active. This is a great time to share your own personal professional updates and perhaps invite them to a relevant professional event. Prove that this is a reciprocal relationship by showing interest in their lives and careers as well.
1 Year: If you have completed these steps, you have established a relationship where you are now able to ask for an introduction to other contacts.
STEP 3: Track Your Outreach
Remember to note all of your progress as you begin to reach out to your industry contacts. This will allow you to plan, prepare, and engage on an appropriate time frame. You can also write down details of your conversations so you know what details to mention in your follow up.
STEP 4: Set Goals
Develop a plan for networking with achievable goals such as: meet two new contacts every week, schedule one informational interview each month, etc. Schedule an appointment with your NYU Career Counselor to go over your networking plan and help to tailor your correspondence.