by Michelle Samuels
Today’s age of LinkedIn and instant online connectivity has made the ability to network more accessible than ever, but “building a dream network,” is a goal that takes perseverance and skill. On April 27, legal marketers gathered at Winston & Strawn’s New York office to hear tips from J. Kelly Hoey, investor and author (former lawyer, former legal marketer and NYLMA member) of How to Build Your Dream Network, released earlier this year. NYLMA member Brandie Knox moderated the lively, hour-long conversation.
The strength of Kelly’s connections and networks explain how this former attorney pivoted to become a much sought after speaker, seasoned investor and published author. Her carefully crafted journey has led to appearances as a panelist on CNBC’s Power Pitch as well as the honor of being named one of the “25 Smartest Women On Twitter” by Fast Company and being listed as “1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship” by Forbes.
Kelly encouraged the group to view networking as “a way to solve a problem” rather than just something to do with no end goal in mind. She noted that whether you are looking for a new job, transitioning to a new career or hoping to make a geographic change, specific, intentional goals that can help organize and leverage personal and professional connections. Some of her go-to tips include:
- Purposefully make connections and strategically build connections – Make sure you know why you are seeking that connection so your networking has a purpose. The ability to tap into and leverage your connections is the foundation of professional success.
- In our hyper connected world, networking isn't just in person, it's online too –Post a LinkedIn update or refresh your profile. Share an article you found insightful or make sure it's up to date. Your online presence matters and maintaining it could pay off. Plus, the article you post on LinkedIn could be a great conversation starter down the line, Kelly writes in her book.
- Follow up is key to staying top of mind – Find ways to stay in touch with people and keep the dialogue going. Check in with contacts via email, comment on things they post or share something they’d find helpful.
- Give before you get – Offer up help before you need or even expect a thing. You will feel great about it and by helping more people, you are increasing your pipeline of people to tap for help in the future.
We interviewed Kelly for her top tips on how to network with purpose and how to strategically grow your professional network. Read the interview here.
Kelly’s book Build Your Dream Network has been on Amazon’s list of “Hot New Releases/Social Media Guides” since it was published earlier this year. Pick up a copy today and start networking!