Yukon Palmer - President of FieldLogix
Can you share a little about what makes you an authority on building a great network?
I have built thousands of connections via in-person networking and social media.
How important is networking for professional success, and why?
It is important to establish a reputation and visibility within your industry. Networking establishes you as a "brand" that helps get you into the door with potential customers, investors, and partners.
What's your usual ice-breaker question when meeting someone for the first time?
I just introduce myself and ask them what their organization does.
How do you approach networking differently when you're meeting someone in person versus virtually?
When in person, it takes a lot of smiling, introductions, asking questions, etc. It is typically a "softer" approach and filled with a lot of rapport before determining whether you can help each other. When virtual, you tend to get to the point quicker. Often times, you may add someone to your network, view their posts and they will view your posts and either party may not directly engage for weeks, months, or even years.
What are some common mistakes people make when trying to build their professional network, and how can they avoid them?
Building them with people who aren't relevant to their needs. Not following up with people who may be able to work with you in the future. These types of people should be tagged as relevant to your needs and you should touch base every once in a while (even if it is to congratulate them for a job change, or acknowledging their birthdays).
Have you noticed any differences in the types of relationships you build through in-person versus virtual networking? If so, can you describe those differences?
I tend to have longer term relationships with people who I met in person and engaged with after the initial introduction. Virtual connections tend to be more transactional where we only engage when either party needs something.
What are some strategies you've found effective for building rapport and establishing trust with someone you've only just met?
I try to find common ground based on the industry they are in, the city in which they live, sports, etc. I generally ask a lot more questions than talking about myself.
How can someone use social media and online networking to expand their professional network?
Engage with people who are influential in your industry and search their contacts to see if they are connected to anyone who may be helpful to you.
What advice would you give to someone who is new to networking and trying to make connections in their industry?
Find out who the influential people are in your industry and reach out to them and offer something of value, even if it is just insight into something that you have specialized knowledge about.
Go to networking events, get on relevant social media platforms, join industry groups
Engage, ask questions, acknowledge the successes of your connections
Share insightful knowledge that makes you appear to be a domain expert in your space.