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Networking during a recession

June 24, 2009

Everybody knows that networking is growing in popularity. There are social networking sites like MySpace, FaceBook, and business networking sites such as LinkedIn. Here are these tips on why networking is even more important in these recessionary times.

First, learn what is happening in your market from the streets. What you hear on the street by meeting with people is often more current on the employment situation and business opportunities in your area. If you are connecting with a lot of people regularly you will have a better sense of what is out there.

Networking in these times forms a better long-term bond with people. Anxious times can create greater honesty and affinity as people can be more forthcoming and direct. Remember the 75/75 rule. Seventy-five percent of jobs are found through relationships and 75 percent of all business engagements are found through networking from referrals you know rather than going on the Internet and emailing strangers.

To get those referrals you have to know people, and you won’t get to know people by just sitting at your computer. It is all about contact and touch and being a resource for people.

That is why my approach to networking is 'How to Get More by Asking for Less and Doing More for others.’

Although we all network primarily for financial currency which translates to finding new jobs and new clients, remember, networking in these times builds your social currency. Social currency is your relationship with people and in the long run your social currency is more valuable as your financial currency. Remember to help people in transition because when they land they will remember your efforts and you will have a powerful connection.

When you attend a lot of networking events you increase your industry relevance in these changing times because you learn a lot about current topics and trends in your industry. Networking simply makes you smarter and current in this exponentially changing information age.

Hank Blank is the founder and president of Blank and Associates, a provider of marketing services based in Southern California. He can be reached at