How Writers & Book Publishers Should Work Their Network

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 11:26 AM PDT

Here are 11 tips for authors, publishers, book promoters and marketers to utilize to become a powerful network in a networked society:

1.      Decide to make networking a part of your everyday life.  Commit to it mentally and time-wise. Visualize the benefits of networking and align your actions and communications with the goal to build up a quality network of connections.

2.      Provide your contacts through social media good value, offering guidance, direction, resources, or a genuine offer to help them.  They should return the favor.

3.      Where possible, move to face-to-face contact with your network.  That is the best way to make a true human connection.  The phone is next best -- or Skype.  Email or online interactions may be convenient, but they lack sound or physical presence.

4.      Researchers show that although on average we might meet 200-1000 people a year, we can only handle some 150 contacts.  The rest fall through the cracks.  Choose your relationships carefully and see which ones are worth nurturing.

5.      Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with the people you network with.  Many contacts may not be able to help you directly, but they can lead you to those who will help.  At the very least, they may offer information, advice, and emotional support or encouragement.

6.      Always realize that you are responsible for the message others receive from or about you.  How do you brand or positon yourself?  Are you giving clear explanation of who you are, what you do, who you know?  Do you offer clear stories, narratives, or examples of what you’ve accomplished?

7.      Do you give off a positive vibe, an inviting or helpful feeling?  Are you friendly and approachable? Are you a good listener and do you ask questions that not only inform you but show you have a genuine interest in them?

8.      What value do you claim to offer others?  Is it your experience or current job?  Is it your knowledge and professionalism?  Is it your personality?  Or is it the size and quality of your network?

9.      Do you radiate negative energy?  No one wants to be near a needy person.  Are you a Debbie Downer?  Remain positive, optimistic, smile and laugh.

10.  Develop an empowering 15-second elevator speech about who you are.  Share it with everyone.

11.  Find model networkers and analyze what’s so appealing about them.  How do they approach conversations? What do they say or offer? How do they follow up with those they meet? How do they dress or sound? What’s their body language, voice, or intensity like?  What kind of vocabulary level do they employ?

The key to networking is to come across as being genuinely helpful while you are really focused on finding others to give you what you need.  This requires research, communication, luck and sustained effort.  Put yourself out there – join groups and attend events.  Take a leadership positon with some groups.

Always think long-term and short-term.  Think of your goals and whom could help you.  Seek them out. Be assertive. Look to make the right connections and be prepared to give something to get something.

You don’t necessarily need to know a lot of people, just the right ones.  But you need more than a surface connection.  You need to develop a relationship that yields results.

The good news is it’s easier than ever to network.  You can research those you want to meet. You can find ways online to introduce yourself.  Then follow-up with a call or in-person meeting.  It’s like dating.  Tomorrow you may meet Mr. or Mrs. Right.  Not everyone will be your soul mate, but it just takes a few good people to get you where you want to be.