A Successful Networking Follow-up Strategy

a-successful-networking-follow-up-strategy

We know the benefits of networking events, and we know why we network. The question is, after attending a networking event, what do we do to further develop and maintain relationships with others that were in attendance?

It is what you do after a professional networking event that really matters and determines your future successes in networking. Your last event might have been supported by a great attendance. Here are some proven ways you can keep the energy and excitement flowing between events and build your personal network.

Study the attendee list or Google those you recognized in attendance. Google your own name also to see what others are seeing about you after each professional networking event. You can also group the attendees according to what they might have in common. You likely took notes during the event, so go back over them, checking for applicable ideas you can implement.

Once you are more familiar with the names on your attendee list, try to connect with them through email or social media. Tell them how you enjoyed meeting them at the event (or if you heard them speak, comment on something that resonated from their speech). You may want to suggest a contact or a future event they might be interested in attending. Then, try to connect with them on LinkedIn and post a note there that reminds them of your past or future networking event. Suggest a phone call, or if there is a contact number, call and talk one-on-one. Explain how it is important to keep the conversation going, whether it was a discussion from the recent networking event or one planned for the future.

Show an interest in each person as you connect or speak to each other. Listen to suggestions and engage sincerely. You may want to suggest a possible meeting that could be attended by three or four other women you’ve connected with. Those women you are most interested in networking with, follow on social media. It works to keep the lines of communication open between professional networking events. To help with your planning of future networking events, keep your contacts’ email addresses in a dedicated file. Most importantly, schedule a time to contact each of them in order to keep those conversations going between networking events. If you were not the host of the event, be sure to contact the host within 24 hours with thanks for the invite, and let it be known that you want to be a part of the networking group.

Remember these tips for a successful follow-up after a professional networking event:

  • Follow up quickly, preferably within 24 hours of meeting a new contact at a networking event. An email is the best format to follow up but if the person is active on LinkedIn and your profile is up to date, a LinkedIn connection request would suffice. We’ve included a template for you to follow below.
  • Remind the person of a conversation from the event. Maybe mention how you enjoyed the speaker or recall a specific interesting fact. That will open the conversation to discuss the key messages conveyed at the event.
  • Make a connection on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, or meet in person. Offer to help with the next networking event, or ask a connection to help you.

Networking Follow-up email template

Dear Elizabeth,
It was a pleasure meeting you at the IAW Networking event in Chicago yesterday. Your advice about marketing roles and where to find a job were so helpful.
As you recommended, I searched the IAW website and found many roles that I am interested in. I’ll be working on updating my resume and applying to these soon.
Please let me know if you want to connect in the future, I would love to meet for coffee and share tips about marketing software and strategies! You can connect with me on LinkedIn here.
I hope to see you at the next IAW event in Chicago.
Kind Regards,
Megan

Networking can pay off in a big way, whether it is through making new friends or creating an opportunity for your business or career. Through consistent actions each week, you can build a network of support who can help you reach your goals, and you, in turn, can help them reach theirs. Networking doesn’t have to be burdensome, so don’t make work out of it. Make it fun. Remember, most importantly, that a successful follow-up is the key to creating an opportunity that will expand opportunities for you and your future.

Connect with like-minded women at an IAW event near you. Find an event here.

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