The simple truth is there are some things you can do to get more substantive and positive outcomes from your networking endeavors. Play the game but play it right!
And forget the cliché “givers get.” Not true. I know lots of givers that haven’t gotten anything ever.
Develop a “real” relationship, not one based on BS and “checking in.” Ditch the platitudes and get up close and personal about how you can help them and how you need/want to be helped too. Extra points if you have fun doing it. Some of my best networking has taken place strolling around a museum, doing tequila shots at a dive bar, or exploring our mutual tastes in music while on a Zoom. And before you say, you don’t have time for that, read number 2.
Be selective. You don’t have endless time so do an initial “getting to know you” and schedule 15 minutes BEFORE you calendar a longer and deeper dive into how you can help each other.
Be proactive…nope, this isn’t BS. Make intros because you see sparks of things on which the people you introduce can light a fire. It’s work ya’ll and you make the intro; they do the wooing and wowing.
Have freakin’ fun doing it. Oh geez, it can be such a time-suck, that if you’re not enjoying yourself and getting results, then why do it. There are so many other ways to spend your time and build your business. Wanna do 15 minutes with me?