Expert Advice On Business Networking And Tips On Developing Your Networking Skills

Interview with Liz Strauss of

According to EatonWeb, “Liz Strauss is perhaps the most influential relational blogger on the Internet.” Her blog — Liz Strauss at Successful Blog — has been called both a destination and an event.

Liz Strauss has worked over 20 years in print, software, and online publishing, and strategized with publishers from around the world. She has worked with entrepreneurs, small businesses, companies in crisis, and corporate giants. Liz led the vision behind last year’s SOBCon07 — The Relationship Bloggers’ Conference that gained the attention of BusinessWeek, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Innovation Initiative of the Kellogg School of Business.

I’m pleased to bring you Liz Strauss…

Josh: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?

Liz Strauss: Business networking is getting to know people, plain and simple. Every person we know is a possible business partner in some way. Some day I might need a service person, a bartender to help with an event I’m putting together, the one that I’m friends with at the fine hotel where we often have dinner very well could know or be the right person.

Networking is getting to know each individual in a personal way and letting that person know you as well, forming friendship of a helpful sort in which you both care about the good will and progress of the other.

Great networking comes from a sincere interest in people and a deep feeling of generosity — a wanting to see others do well. The great networkers I know don’t network for business they network for people. They do it because it makes them feel good to help when they can.

Josh: Can you share one idea that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?

Liz Strauss: Make a habit. I started a program called Blogger a Day. It was my habit. I call a blogger a day just to talk. I announced it on my blog and people email me to set up a time for a conversation. I’ve met hundreds of bloggers that way. The conversations are as unique as the bloggers. Somehow we always find something to say.

Other folks might find it easier to choose a number of new blogs to comment on — sticking to those same blogs for an entire month until they have connected with several people, then perhaps dropping a blog and picking up a new one every week or so after. That could be another way to network into some new people connections. 🙂

Josh: Liz, what events, places, or resources (online or off-line) have you found to be especially good for networking? And based on your experience what makes them stand out?

Liz Strauss: Open Comment Night on my blog, every Tuesday at 7pm CST, gets high marks, because it draws a wide-range of people who are friendly and there are always new people in the mix. I think that we’re always talking about subjects that don’t require research of special knowledge and that we play quite a bit makes it a perfect place to make friends.

Small blogger meet ups tend to be the same way. I like them because in a smaller group, folks are less likely to form little pockets of people who talk to each other and never move. SOBCon07 which was relational was built around everyone being in one room. So once again the community tended to form and people became closer and conversation went deep.

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  • ME Strauss

    Thanks, Josh!
    It was fun to meet you!
    The time went by soooo fast!

  • Josh Hinds

    Liz, the pleasure was all mine. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with everyone here.

    Appreciatively, Josh 🙂