How to Follow-Up After a Networking Event (And Make a Great Impression!)

Once you attend a networking event, there’s still work to be done. It’s up to you to maintain those new connections. If you don’t, all your efforts won’t pay off when it comes to your job search and your career.

So, what are some ways to follow up after a networking event and make the best impression possible?

Make Contact Withing 24 Hours 

You want to stay fresh in the minds of your new connections. That’s why it’s important to follow up within 24 business hours after your initial meeting.

Customize Your Follow Up

Don’t send a mass email with the same message to all your new connections. Instead, customize your approach to jog their memory and forge a stronger relationship. For instance, if you met someone who went to the same college as you, mention that, and then build off your message from there.

Connect on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a terrific way to manage your contacts and stay connected with your network. Plus, you can keep track of work anniversaries, promotions and birthdays, and send along with pertinent messages. In lieu of an email after a networking event, shoot out an invite to new contacts on LinkedIn asking to connect. Just as you would in an email, make sure you tailor your message to each individual. Don’t send something boilerplate or generic.

Don’t Ask for Favors Up Front 

When you first meet someone, the last thing you should do is asking for favors. It sets the wrong tone for the relationship. Instead, offer to help your new contact in some way by making a connection or forwarding an article of interest to them. Remember, networking is about building relationships, not transactions.

Schedule a Meeting

If there was someone you really connected with or are interested in getting to know better, set up a meeting. It can be a lunch, coffee or drinks after work; whatever is most convenient for you both. Simply invite them and let them know you’d love the chance to continue the conversation you were having at the networking event.

Regardless of the field you work in, networking can be an asset to your career, if you approach it right. Part of that involves how you follow up. But with the tips above, you can slowly create a routine that helps you to forge stronger ties and leverage the power of networking in deeper ways.

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