If this is you, and you’re ready to strike out on your own, let me share a few things I’ve learned through the years.
1. Ditch your dad’s rolodex.
While I’m a fan of the retro business card roulette wheel, there are some serious limitations to old-school networking.
Unless you have an unlimited Starbucks budget for the “let’s meet for coffee so I can tell you what I’m up to meeting” and one fat rolodex, you may run out of contacts and/or coffee money quickly.
Instead, opt for participating in virtual communities like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. I won’t mention them all; suffice to say the aforementioned are the PB&J of the new media space. When I was “really active” online I would receive two to six inquiries per week from folks I didn’t know who wanted my feedback, input, and collaboration on projects.
Projecting yourself as a thought leader in your space is critical as you’re essentially harnessing the power of the Web to cast a larger net and connect with more people (virtually) in a day than you could in a week with traditional networking.
2. Play Monopoly.