People are finally beginning to realize that effective networking is about building deep relationships, not accumulating shallow acquaintances. This is clear with the emergence of several applications that help facilitate building these deeper relationships, through 1 on 1 professional networking.
Conferences, meetups, and mixers are great, but they often cater to shallow interactions. It is almost impossible to have a 20 minute uninterrupted chat with someone at one of these events. Plus, the people at these events often have calculated ADD and will bounce out of a conversation as soon as they lose the slight bit of interest. Yes, these events are great ways to prospect people you may want to connect with deeper at a later time. However, this is a time consuming strategy. Why not prospect people with the information that is already available at your finger tips.
Enter a handful of applications which will help you network effectively and on your schedule:
All of these applications operate on the same basic premise. Evaluate prospects online via their LinkedIn, Angellist or other professional info. Then decide which people you would like to connect with. If both parties are interested, then chat is activated and you can setup a 1 on 1 meeting. Yes, this is basically Tinder for professional networking.
These applications take your networking game to the next level in two ways. First, these applications facilitate deeper interactions. All the people using these platforms are looking to dedicate 30-60 minutes of their time to have a 1 on 1 chat with you. Second, these applications let you network on your time. Prospect professionals you want to meet passively and at your leisure. Then set up meetings that fit conveniently into your schedule.
Skip that meetup this week. Hop on one of these apps (or all of them), pick your favorite coffee shop, and start doing some next level professional networking.
If you are in SF and want to meet for coffee let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org