Home Is Where the Network Is
By Maggie Zeman
At Double Forte, we often compare notes on best practices for networking. Several months ago, we tossed the 4Bs of Networking your way. Never have those tips been more useful then when I moved to New York City to run our east coast office. Don’t get me wrong – I love meeting new people! After all, we are in the people business, and meeting new people means new connections, opportunities and ultimately new clients. But, take it from this California transplant: There’s an art to moving where nobody knows your name.
In a recent Time Magazine article, Areva Martin reiterated the one trait that is key to becoming the best networker in the room. She says, “In the rush to capitalize on opportunities, connect with everyone we can, grow our businesses and leverage our influence at every turn, we can forget the basic truth: a widening circle of influence is about genuine connection.” Now seven months in, I’ve been reflecting on the importance of putting myself out there with what I call an “arms wide open” approach to networking. Here are 3 best practices for building a network when you find yourself in a new city. (P.S., These tips work where you live now, too!)
If you build it, they will come: As members of WeWork, the Double Forte team is leveraging our community to introduce ourselves and services to the entire community, while having a little fun. By hosting a series of Lunch & Learns and Happy Hours at WeWork offices around town we see the rewards of putting ourselves and our clients out there. And next month, we’re expanding our series to San Francisco.
Don’t beat them, join them: There’s no such thing as a Welcome Wagon any more. So it’s up to you get out there and join important industry groups, professional committees and networking events. And, don’t forget to fulfill personal interests, too, through volunteer work or starting your side hustle. Those are also great ways to meet like-minded people in authentic ways.
Act like a local: New York is nothing if not 24/7 action! Take in the sites, hit new restaurants, catch a play and suddenly your icebreaker conversation just got a lot easier. Even better, identify an influencer or media contact you want to know and invite them to join you for yoga or SoulCycle. This is a fun way to build your in-market media network while making a new friend and catching up on what’s new at the same time.
Apply these key learnings to your relocation and you’ll start to feel a little more at home, with a diverse network full of opportunities, and even a few new friends…Queue Mary Tyler Moore and her famous hat toss.