Your Networking Folder

 
Your Networking Folder

There are apps for everything, there is software to do everything, and considering I design websites for a living it might seem strange that the first thing I am going to suggest you do is to create a physical, paper-based system to help you with your networking.

The concept of the networking folder came to me toward the end of the creation of my original book ‘Beyond the Comfort Zone’. The idea was to have a focal point for your activity and record keeping that has a presence in the real world to remind you that to be a networker you do it in ‘Real Life’ not online.

Your Networking Folder
As you can see from the picture, my folder is bright red and has a cover and spine I designed. You do not have to go to this extent. It is the object itself and the content that is more important than the cover, but I have placed a couple of graphics in this section that you can download and use if you wish.

As well as the folder you are going to need a set of dividers to allow you to place all the material you create in relevant sections.

The main categories in mine are:

Recons
1-minute Presentations
10 Minute Presentations ideas
Referral Tracking
Other Stuff

As you will see as you work through this course starter information, Recon Meetings should be the cornerstone of your networking educational activity.

Regular and effective Recon meetings are the single most effective use of your time as a networker. You use them to gather and give information that makes it easier for you to find referrals for others and for them to find them for you.

For that reason, you should create a Recon Record every time you visit a fellow group member and keep them in your networking folder.

Having a printout of your presentation plan and your presentations will make sure you make effective use of your one-minute presentation at your meetings. Too many people waste this time and time is the one thing you cannot recoup and reuse.

It is also easier to use a sheet of paper if you need to read your presentation, how many times have you seen people squinting at a mobile phone screen or wave their tablet around as they speak.

Having a written and visible record of the referrals you have given will allow you to see who you are doing well for and who you might need to focus on to understand better as you haven’t found them a referral in a whole. You can also see who has passed you referrals and allow you to express your gratitude to them in the way you see fit.

Another thing to keep in your folder is a supply of blank copies of the various forms and tracking sheets you will gain access to through this course. You can also keep spare business cards and some of your brochures in it to maintain stock at your networking meeting.

In many cases the mobile phone has replaced the need to carry a business card holder with you, it is easy to send referrals using networking group management systems like refur.com or through other software. These apps a re good asthey speed up the referral passing process. However, using a Networking Folder helps you to maintain a real focus on your networking activity. Every day, when you have a coffee break, you can flick through it and be reminded of activity you need to do or remind you to call a member to book a Recon Meeting.

Module Actions
Create a Networking Folder