Networking works best when you know exactly who you need to meet. You can figure this out in a couple of ways.
1. You can profile your target
I’ve written more completely about this in a previous post, but I’ll quickly recap here. Basically, you develop a list of the characteristics of your target, and then convert those characteristics into triggers that you seed through all your communications.
Note that your targets can be either people or organizations. Job seekers will often start by profiling their ideal organization and then refine their search to target key people in their target companies. B2B sales people will use a similar process, while B2C people will usually use this method of targeting for clients but will use the next process for strategic partners.
2. Target specific people
Using this method, you know exactly who are the individuals you want to meet. You can ask for them in your elevator speech, research them through LinkedIn and ask for introductions or use your existing contacts to gradually step your way closer.
See how job seekers will often start with the first method and then move to the second? It’s a very good way to find your ideal job. I’m coaching a client through this process now. She’s in Virginia, searching for a job in Taiwan. She has finished with targeting her ideal companies, and now she’s moved to finding people and reaching out to them to set up informational interviews using Google+ Hangouts. Good use of social media in her job search.
So that’s how targeting works. Anyone have a good targeting story to share? Or maybe we can help you network your way to your target?