How important is networking when trying to impress potential customers, investors or product launch platforms like Daily Grommet? Extremely important! With connections behind you, you're likely to be noticed and move toward the top of the list. Whether you're looking for a job, or trying to get your product noticed, the rules stay the same.
Our fearless leader, Jules Pieri, gave an illuminating talk at the Boston Startup School last week on Networking: Do's and Dont's. Her experience and advice is great for students, job-seekers and entrepreneurs alike. Below are 5 major takeaways.
1. The network you collect is what matters: "Over the course of your career, you'll gain crucial skills and experiences. Yet what you'll find really matters is the network you collect." says Jules. We've all learned the importance of knowing someone. Finding the right people to connect with along the way is crucial.
2. Take the time to get to know what & who you're pitching: "You're not worth my time, if you don't take the time" says Jules. Make sure you go into a pitch of any kind with a thorough understanding of why you or your product is beneficial for this specific company, market, investor or employer. The worst scenario is looking or being unprepared.
3. Make sure you have good "digital breadcrumbs": Haven't gotten around to creating a LinkedIn profile yet? Don't have a Facebook page or Twitter handle to showcase your skills, products or brand? Well, the time to start was yesterday. Today, these outlets are the first place people search to find out more about you. If they're blank, don't have good content or lack professionalism, trust in your legitimacy is low. Take the time to present yourself well on the internet.
4. Old-fashioned thank you notes might stand out: "I'm a fan of handwritten thank you notes", says Jules. Not only does Jules like notes of thanks, but notes with a specific reference to something discussed is even better. Mention something you found interesting during your discussion, or recap your thoughts on the issue. Was there a hot button issue they're into? Send them an article you think they might like.
5. Startups are weird. It's ok to be weird: "You definitely have a screw loose somewhere if you're an entrepreneur, and that's a good thing" says Jules. Think about all the great entrepreneurs out there. To create massive innovation so successfully, you've got to be an out-of-the-box thinker. In other words, you've got to have some weird ideas. At Daily Grommet, we pride ourselves on launching some of these products. Take the Squatty Potty for instance. If you don't know what that is, you're probably watching the video with intrigue to find out. So take your weird ideas and run with them!
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