Three ways to boost your network without an awkward networking event

If you want to boost your network, skip industry drinks this Friday.

That’s the advice Networking is Not Working author and entrepreneur Derek Coburn has shared in Harvard Business Review.

Coburn says at its core, networking is about increasing the value of your network and contributing value back to it.

And he believes attending traditional networking events won’t help you achieve this.

Instead, Coburn says hosting your own events, “double dating” and reaching out to old contacts are far more effective ways to boost the ingoing and outgoing value of your network.

Learn more with StartupSmart’s three-minute tips: A founder planning 100 events shares how to get the most out of networking

Host an event

“[Hosting your own event] is a great way to add value for existing clients and connections, and can also be an opportunity to meet and develop relationships with prospective clients,” Coburn says.

Double date

If you’re not big on throwing a party, Coburn says professional “double dating” is the way to go.

“The next time you have four tickets to an event, invite a current client, connection or strategic partner [and] ask them to bring someone they think you should meet and you do the same,” he says.

Reignite old flames

Finally, he says, reigniting relationships with old contacts can be immensely valuable.

To find these contacts, he suggests going through old emails and reaching out to set up a 15-minute phone call.

“It’s a great way to add value for existing clients and connections, and can also be an opportunity to meet and develop relationships with prospective clients,” he says.

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