How do I get better at networking?

So, I’m at a point where in order to move forward with a couple of important personal projects, I need to be able to network. I really don’t know how to do this. How do I learn how to be a better networker?

Are there books I can read?

Or websites or blogs I can visit?

There are some organizations here in town that I could join to network. Are there aspects that I should look for that would make one organization better over another?

Do people even use business cards anymore? Or should I have some for us old fogeys (I’m 43) and my info in another format for the young whippersnappers?

Are you good at networking? How did you get good? What mistakes did you make and what did you learn from them?


(No responses to a thread about networking. I guess I really do need a lotta help on this topic!! :smiley: )

Business cards are handy. I’d keep them. It’s a convenient way to pass your phone number and email.

“Are there aspects that I should look for that would make one organization better over another?”
What do you want to network for (more specifically than personal projects)? If it’s linked to a particular industry, then an organization centered on that industry is obviously pretty good.
As for networking, preferably you go to a meeting that’s regular so that you can see the same people a few times. It’s vastly preferable to get to know someone over a few meetings than only meet them once and try for a hard sell.

Finding people who have extensive networks (large nodes) can be quite advantageous. They know more people and can introduce you to them, which is both easier, more pleasant and more effective than introducing yourself to a complete stranger.

If you find good networking sources, please tell me, I’m quite interested.

Well, I’d start with Linkedin.

Join groups related to your field.

Stop impaling people you meet.

I tend to view designated “networking events” as terrible places to network. The reason is that anyone you would want to network with would tend to avoid these events because they don’t want a bunch of people hitting them up for stuff.

I used to go to an industry networking event. What I found was that it tended to be full of headhunters and sales reps for various software vendors. Very few people who would be in a position to actually purchase any of their services. Mostly just a bunch of salespeople getting drunk with each other.