The Networking Playbook for Growing Your Design Firm

The Networking Playbook

Every successful networker has a plan of operation. They have mapped out their goals and agenda for practical networking. Whether it is strengthening their brand, acquiring more business or building professional relationships, these individuals are focused on reaching their target. One of the ways to be a star player in networking is to formulate a playbook or game plan. Networking is becoming more and more of a necessity in the work, business and social sectors. Organizations are incorporating networking into their corporate strategies and encouraging their employees to embrace this phenomenon.

Listed below are ways in which individuals can create a winning agenda for their objectives.

Quarter System

Map out a 12-month plan for your networking mission. Create a timeline and markers for achieving specific goals for your business, career or social endeavors. Divide your plan in to a quarter system. Within this system, highlight groups or organizations to join or increase existing membership involvement. Select conferences, trade shows and meetings to attend for broadening your networking reach. Also include training and development sessions to sharpen your communication and other relevant skills. Be eager and enthusiastic about building relationships and connecting with others. After each quarter, evaluate your networking results and identify ways of improving for the following quarter.

Time Outs

Similarly to a professional sports game, time outs serve many useful purposes. Plan periods of breaks or time outs within your networking playbook. These are excellent ways of re-energizing, redirecting and re-evaluating. It eliminates the tendency of burnout and confusion in your networking process. These breaks also allow significant time to refocus or even reinforce your networking objectives. It offers a margin of relief which can increase productivity in the long term. Use these opportunities as a means of reiterating the purpose and mission towards networking.

Key Players

Coaches and team leaders have a responsibility of identifying their key team players. They are instrumental in positioning these individuals to carry out the winning goal, hit or score for the team. Be consciously aware and identify key individuals in your networks. Position them in your sphere as those who can assist you in your networking journey. Whether they are your counterparts, mentors, customers or service providers, make sure they are executing their roles effectively. In regards to any sports game, it is ok to substitute or rearrange players for maximum efficiency.

The above tips give a detailed description of how individuals can capitalize on their networking agenda. Using these strategies increases your chances of success and progress.

By Chi Chi Okezie                                                                                                                  Photography by Franz Pfluegl

Chi Chi Okezie is owner/producer of SIMPLEnetworking, LLC in Atlanta, GA. Learn tips, tactics and techniques from this Champion Networker! Visit the SN Official Website: to read excerpts of her books, listen to the latest radio podcasts and visit her blog!


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