A blog by Andrew Cuthbertson – Business Development Manager at virtualDCS

Well, as they say, there is a first time for everything and I thought it would be a good time to introduce myself to the virtualDCS blog!

At virtualDCS we try to actively involve ourselves within the Yorkshire community and on Thursday 24th January 2013 I had the LinkedInpleasure of going to Leeds Metropolitan University, to talk about the importance of networking and to pass on any tips that I have discovered on my journey so far.

I met some fantastic and enthusiastic students who were eager to learn and I hope they got something out of the day. To summarise, I thought I would blog about a few of the more important points that were covered on the day.

Get active: On LinkedIn and other relevant social media sites, such as Twitter, you should initially start building your network of contacts by connecting with people who share your interests and expertise. From this, you can build up a solid base to begin networking.

Be generous: It is important to enter a mind-set of giving and not to simply focus on what you can receive from a relationship. If it costs nothing to help someone, then why would you not offer advice and help? Building up a favour bank helps to gain the respect of others on LinkedIn and in my experience the more you help others get what they want, the more you will get what you want.

Face your fear! When thinking about commenting on a discussion, asking to connect, posting a status, sending a message or starting a new conversation… just do it. Remember that everyone else is in the same situation as you and is probably looking for someone to engage with them.

Listen to others: Before jumping in and talking about what you do, it is important to be a good listener. From this you can usually gauge whether or not your expertise would be useful, allowing yourself to tailor what it is that you do around their specific needs. If the discussion is not relevant you can keep it brief and move on to another conversation that would be more mutually beneficial.

My appearance at the event was as part of a Yorkshire Mafia scheme to try and get local businesses engaged more within the local community and give something back. I believe that we shouldn’t lose sight of the next generation of up and coming business people, as they will be our future customers and partners.

At virtualDCS we are committed to doing what we can, when we can to strengthen our ties to the local area. Hopefully, there will be more opportunities for us to get involved in the future.

For more information call +44 (0)3453 888 327 or email enquiries@virtualdcs.co.uk

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