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Challenge: Back to School 2021

Shoot Your Shot - Networking Tips for Teens (or anyone really)

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I have the honor of working with tweens and teens. This has been my "job" for more than a decade and I continue to have pinch me moments when I can't believe this is what I get to do with my days.

My specific niche is "entrepreneurship" which means I get to help t(w)eens launch their big ideas and also help them connect with people who could help them even more. Recently in our WIT slack community a teen asked for tips around building deeper connections with all the entrepreneurs we bring in virtually. We both thought that other teens could benefit from these tips, so I'm sharing them with you. Thanks for the idea Claire!

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You've Been Inspired ... Now What? Maybe you attended a book signing, a networking opportunity or even a TEDx event and you've met someone who has inspired you, now what? Go ahead and find them on LinkedIn or Instagram and shoot them a dm. Depending on the platform there are different approaches, but to KISS (Keep It Super Simple) just send something like:

Hi _____,

Today I met you at ____ and I left so inspired. I keep thinking about what you shared regarding _________. I hope that we can connect and stay in touch. Thank you again for giving your time/sharing your wisdom.

Basically you want to make sure you include the place you met them, something you learned from them and your gratitude.

You Want Something From Someone ... How Do You Get It? Before you focus on the "get" focus on the "give". The world is full of people out to get, get, get. How about being someone who knows that value comes from being someone who understands win-win scenarios? Scenarios where everyone "gets"! Now you might be thinking, "I don't have anything to give!" False. Before you slide into someone's dms asking for something, go ahead and share a few of their posts or leave a comment on a recent article. I can't tell you how many people reach out to me to write about them in Forbes but have never shared an article or even commented on a post. I often tell people, "If you want people to write about you, don't let the first time they engage with you be you asking them to write about you." Same goes with asking to be on a podcast. Have you shared an episode? Left a review? Commented on an episode? Why should someone give you their time and platform if you haven't given your time to their platform?

When All Else Fails .... Gratitude. It's never too late to say "thank you". Maybe you went to that event or met that person but then totally forgot to follow-up. It's not too late to spark that connection again. The easiest way? Just say "thank you". Shoot a message like:

"Hi ________,

It's been awhile since we met at _________. I still think about what you said regarding __________. I've even applied your tip about _________ to my life/business and it's helped so much. Thank you again for sharing your advice. Sincerely, ______."

Everyone understands that life gets busy and those "thank you" notes or emails don't always get sent. But don't worry ... showing gratitude is always on trend and it's never too late. I hope these tips help and if all else fails, when it comes to networking remember this sorta mathematical equation:

Give > Get + Gratitude = Higher Chance of Successful Outcome

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