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The Art of Schmoozing: 10 Types of People To Look For When Networking

Networking is a huge effort. You’ll spend a lot of time meeting with new people, maintaining relationships, and doing favors, so it’s in your best interest to make sure that you have all the right people in your network. There are several types of people that everyone needs to have in their corner, and we’ve highlighted them here, along with tips for how to spot them in the wild. Read along and consider who, if anyone, in your network is one of these types, and who you still need to find.

  1. The Power Networker:

    You know the Power Networker, right? Of course you do, everyone does. This person knows just about everyone, and that’s why they’re so valuable as connectors. They’re the people who can direct you to the perfect reference, no matter what you’re looking for. It’s not hard to spot Power Networkers: they’re the ones who seem to know everyone in the room and have the largest social networks online.

  2. The Muse:

    Also known as an instigator, this person offers inspiration and pushes you to think harder and do better. Muses are most often found gesturing excitedly about their latest new idea with a friend. Find one to enjoy and share in their enthusiasm and idea-generating energy.

  3. The Trendsetter:

    Want to know the latest buzz? Get connected with a Trendsetter. They’re the ones that are most likely to know about news as it happens or even before it happens. Trendsetters stay ahead of the curve, and can help keep you on the cutting edge of your industry with the latest updates. How do you find a Trendsetter? Look for the person that seems to always be on the ground floor of new and exciting projects or always knows about news before you bring it up.

  4. The Cheerleader:

    The cheerleader is your motivator and biggest fan. When you’re feeling down, they can bring you back up, when you need support, they’re always there for you. Always ready with a pep talk, cheerleaders can be the MVP of your network. Cheerleaders can be found sharing hugs, high fives, and offering congratulations to everyone they know.

  5. The Devil’s Advocate:

    While the Cheerleader will support you unequivocally, sometimes you can use a more critical perspective. This person can offer a voice of reason, and help you discover problems before they even happen. With a good Devil’s Advocate, you can get a big dose of reality, something we all need. How can you find your own Devil’s Advocate? Ask for opinions on your latest project or business card and go with the person that gives it to you straight.

  6. The Mentor:

    We all need someone to look up to, a role model who’s been there and can show us a thing or two about where we’re going. Your mentor should be accomplished, and offer inspiration for where you’d like to be in the future. You should want to live up to their example, and also make them proud. You’ll share a close relationship with your Mentor, so it’s more difficult to find them, but you should look for someone whose past emulates what you’d like to experience in your future.

  7. The Industry Insider:

    If you’re looking for a job, this is the friend to have. We’ve all heard that most jobs are found not on job boards, but through people in your network, and Industry Insiders are exactly the ones that help get job seekers connected with jobs. These people currently work in the industry you’re targeting, and they have the power to get you in touch with who you need to know. They’re a great source for finding internal positions, can offer referrals, and can give you pointers on what you’ll need to do to really stand out, since they know the culture well. It’s easy to find Industry Insiders. Visit networking events that are likely to attract your industry, and pay careful attention to where people say they work.

  8. The Informant:

    If they weren’t so nice and helpful, you might call Informants “know it alls.” Don’t make that mistake, because you want this person on your side. Similar to the Industry Insider, Informants are knowledge gurus who can tell you what you need to know about nearly anything. This is definitely the person you want to invite to lunch for some questions. Spot an Informant online: they’re the ones sharing all the best news sources.

  9. The Influencer:

    Superman may have the uncanny ability to bend steel; Influencers have the uncanny ability to bend people to their will, which is arguably more impressive and perhaps even more useful. They’re the ones that make things happen, getting others on board to support your ideas (or not). You’ll want an Influencer close in your circle to help give your projects a boost to get off the ground. How do you find an Influencer? Look around to find the person that everyone’s nodding in agreement with.

  10. The Dreamer:

    Want to take a magical ride into Idea Land? Get hooked up with a Dreamer. Sure, a conversation with a Dreamer is not always realistic, and may not lead to anything concrete, but they can help you explore your ideas, even when others think they’re a little unusual. Similar to the Muse, Dreamers are often found discussing fun new ideas, and of course, dreams.

December 11th, 2012 written by Staff Writers

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