Networking is easy. Go to an event and have a few drinks, boom, you’re networking. But what is the value in that? You leave with a few business cards in your pocket that you find the next morning.
Connecting is different. It goes further than just meeting people. It’s deeper and more meaningful, it’s asking them a million questions, finding common ground, and allowing them to talk about themselves more than you talk about yourself. Be curious and learn about them and work towards developing a relationship.
Connecting makes an impact and makes yourself memorable and it also leaves an invitation for follow up. After you part ways, right a notes about the person on their business card or make a voice memo on your phone, the next day send them an email saying you enjoyed meeting them and reference some topic from the night before, and encourage a follow up coffee or questions to keep the connection growing.
We live in a world of Facebook “friends” and Instagram followers but go beyond your network and make a real life connection.
Networking is superficial, connecting is genuine.