Goals Goals Goals… Why do you need networking goals?
We write a lot about goals. We talk a lot about goals. We have goals for all areas of our lives. Why? Because Goals give us focus and something to strive for.
We encourage readers to take some time to set goals for their professional networking. Networking can drain your time, money and energy. Setting networking goals can give you a focus to your networking and make sure that you are not draining your time, money and energy for no good reason. You can make sure that everything in your networking strategy or plan has a real purpose.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t “get lucky” at an ad hoc networking event (and you should embrace those opportunities when they arise). It does mean that you will make progess and move close towards your goals. It does mean that you won’t lose out.
By having a goal or set of goals you will be more focused on achieving the goal and you will be able to develop a step-by-step plan about how you will get there. Your plan and your goals will be driven by both you business / organisation needs and your own personal professional needs. You goals should include a mixture of both.
The Networking Planner
In our Networking Planner the first section is about goal. This is because we believe that you should have a set of goals for your networking activities before you get started. There is space for 6 goals. You don’t have to have 6 goals you just need to get started with one if that is all you need. As with our other goals notebooks and planners we also have a progress tracker and accomplishments page.
In the LITE version there is a linear breakdown for you to plan the steps that will get you closer to you goal. One breakdown for each of the goals. In the BUMPER version there is also a notes/mess page beside each goal page to help you plan, think or sketch in addition to the more linear goal breakdown.
Examples of Goals & How to Break Them Down
You can start with quite broad goals and break these down into manageable steps/action points.
Some examples might be:
- get more clients for your business
- build a referral network
- increase your general skills, knowledge or abilities
- increase your personal or professional profile
- improve a particular skills.
Pick one of your goals and think about how you are going to make it a SMART Goal.
As an example one of my goals is to get better at talking about what I do in an interesting way. I have broken this goal down into a number of steps. Once I have done these steps I then review my progress everyone once in while
- Write an elevator pitch and create a bank of “elevator pitches”
- Work out my target audience for each event before I attend and think about what they might be interested in.
- Keep a note of what worked and what didn’t
- Have conversations internally to learn more about what people are doing and what I can help them with (and tell them about what I am doing).
- Consider arranging some “storytelling training”
Set a variety of goals that are right for you and the occasion. You may have a variety of ways to progress each of your goals (as well as individual goals for events).