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Networking and meeting new people can be a daunting experience. In this blog, we share 5 great books to help you take the 'work' out of networking.

Business Networking - The Survival Guide: How to make networking less about stress and more about success

by Will Kintish

In Kintish’s own words, this guide is for ‘anyone who knows they have to network but has all those negative voices in their head when they hear the word’. Practical and peppered with real-life examples and scenarios, Kintish works to dispel the myths surrounding networking and gives actionable rules about how to get the most from meeting people in various situations and contexts. Emphasising the importance of reconnecting with recent contacts to follow-up and win your pitch, Kentish’s approach is one of authenticity and openness.

The Financial Times Guide to Business Networking: How to use the power of online and offline networking for business success

by Heather Townsend

Heather Townsend, who has been described as the UK's 'networking queen' and ‘Twitter royalty’, writes extensively on the relationship between networking and social media. This guide is a straightforward read, detailing how to gain traction from networking with minimum effort. Step-by-step instructions about how to build your own network to achieve professional goals are supplemented by actionable pointers, designed to make the reader put her advice into practice and build confidence. A comprehensive strategy focussing on continuity between face-to-face and online networking is central to Townsend’s model.

The Unnatural Networker: How Anyone Can Succeed At Networking

by Charlie Lawson

In this book Lawson, National Director of the Business Networking Institute, draws on his own experiences of going from a complete ‘non-networker’ to happily networking ‘anywhere, anytime, with anyone’.

His practical, common sense approach stems from gaining the confidence to network, then developing an effective networking strategy to create professional opportunities. Lawson has serious professional clout yet casts successful networking simply, through the prism of removing fear and boosting confidence, all couched in a conversational and confiding manner.

Strategic Connections: The New Face of Networking in a Collaborative World

by Anne Barber, Lynn Waymon, Andre Alphonso & Jim Wylde

A practical guide to networking and relationship building, the authors are true to their ethos of collaboration, having come together to create a comprehensive manual for the modern professional. They advocate beginning by identifying your motivation to network, and then creating a ‘networking identity’ from this starting point. They outline 8 methods of developing strategic connections based on authenticity, making the most of casual connections, developing trust and communicating expertise.

Presented in a logical and easy to grasp style, the quartet of respected networking experts emphasise the importance of face-to-face and day-to-day networking in a world often blinkered by the cult of social media and online presence.

Brilliant Networking: What The Best networkers Know, Say and Do

by Steven D’Souza

Packed full of tips, techniques and insider secrets from some of the UK's most successful networkers, this book is a beginner’s networking toolkit, supported by anecdotes from people who have used networking to transition their careers, find their life partner or grow their business. D’Souza’s mantra is ‘Don’t be good, be brilliant’ and at its core are some surprisingly basic but effective principles such as networking being a long-term commitment, not a one-off connection. With handy blank pages to record notes or work through exercises, this is a great asset to those new to networking.

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