Networking can be formal or informal. There is no limitation of place or time to network.
The only thing that you should pay attention to is how you communicate and share information with others. When you are open and consistent in your outreach, you will receive back more information from your network.
Where can we start? The great place to start is to reachout to your personal relationships, such as friends, family members and those you worked with in the past. The looser connections can often yield the most powerful networking relationships.
The looser connections are the connections that you have "weak ties". For example former classmates, friends of friends and etc.
Cold Networking When you connect with someone you don't know is called a cold networking. It happens often online or over the phone.
You don't need to meet the person you are connecting with. When you want to connect with someone you don't know, it is better to search about her/him before your connection.
When you get information about the person, you can frame your message or conversation. Remember "ACES" - Acknowledge the person - Clarify your interest - Establish a bond - Share actionable steps Acknowledge the person Use the name of the person you are speaking with or sending a message to and introduce yourself.
Share information about your job or industry interest; then explain how you found the person. Clarify your interest Make it clear, why you are making this conversation.
It is better not to ask questions. Instead you can use persuasive language.
Do not speak too much. Be brief and show your respect to the person's time.
Share actionable steps Provide and share any additional materials. The person may want a reference or portfolio of your work, so make it available for him.
Warm Networking After the first connection with the person you didn't know before the other conversations are called Warm Networking. Here is "ACES" useful too.
You will know the people better. You can follow the four Ps to make your connection more successful.
Proactive Take the very first step and start the connection. It would help other people and take the pressure off of them.
Passionate Ask open-ended questions to make the conversation better. The people will also talk about their background openly and passionately.
Pleasant Be positive! Do not forget to smile and share genuine compliments. You can share your positive feedback about the person's previous presentation or discussion.
Polite If the conversation is not interesting for you, show your politeness and appreciate the person for the time he/she is spending to make this conversation..