Networking is an important element in any business or career. Networking could help you meet that person who could elevate your career to the next level. In this article I will address seven principles to successful networking. I call them the seven P’s.

1. Be Professional: (The bible says, “Let everything be decent and in order”)
As a Professional, in any walk in life, always put your “Best Foot forward”. People remember you if you Dress professional, Act professional and have a professional attitude. This is called the “Halo Effect”. Let’s think about this for a moment, when you do well in specific areas or present yourself in a professional manner, some people will remember you for those attributes and each time someone thinks of you or someone calls your name, they think of you as a “True Professional”.

Appearance is very important. No matter what kind of job you have or where you work you should always Dress properly. Being neat and clean is a subset of dressing properly and maintaining a professional appearance. Never, ever forget that people will remember how you look as well as how you dress. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”; therefore, seize the moment.

Maximize every "per chance" meeting. Place yourself in opportunities for giving out your business card because you never know who you might meet. If you do not have your own personal business card it is essential for successful networking that you take the time to have your own Business Cards printed. We all know that business cards are not inexpensive so if you cannot afford to purchase business cards, print them out yourself using your own personal computer using appropriate paper. As you give your card out remember to ask that person for their business card in return and follow up on that lead.

2. Be Polite: Always politely introduce yourself to people even if you met them previously. Do not have people trying to guess your name because that is an insult to you and to them. Properly introduce yourself and tell them where and when you met the last time. Never be rude, rudeness is not the “In Thing” any more. People will appreciate your politeness. If the person is talking with someone else, wait in the background until they have finished, then politely approach them.

3. Be Pleasant: People do not have time for boring conversations. Learn to read body language. Many times people are ready to move onto the next person and next conversation. Know when to let go.

4. Be Positive: Negative vibes, are a No Go. Be positive at all times. Busy people do not have time to hear your whining and complaining about something or some one else.

5. Presentation: Your presentation is very important. Present yourself as a professional. People have sized you up and formed an opinion of you in the first 3-5 seconds of meeting them. So always tailor your presentation with a positive impact/spin.

6. Take the Plunge: “If you play it safe in life, you’ve decided that you don’t want to grow any more.” – Shirley Hufstedler, First U.S. Secretary of Education, 1979-1981
Life is too important to play it safe. Be willing to take a Risk in every thing you do. Your destiny depends on you taking a chance. An example -- if you have never been embarrassed or you have never met someone you do not know this is perceived as playing your life too safe. Step outside of your safety zone and take the plunge in order to network successfully.

7. Pray: Finally Pray. Prayer changes things and we should always pray without ceasing. In everything through Prayer and Supplication make your request know unto God.

Finally, if you follow these seven principles to successful networking, your music career or any chosen career or path you choose will undoubtedly “Prove to be very Promising”.

Author's Bio: 

Melvina Harrison is a Motivational speaker, and has been teaching and motivating others for over 20 years. As an Instructor for the Army Training Support Center and Key note Speaker for several churches thru the "youth ministry and women's ministry programs, She has traveled all over the world Teaching and motivating others. She toured Europe for three years and toured the United States Teaching and speaking to Women's groups, Teens and Churches.

As an Instructional Systems Specialist for the Army Training Support Center and instructor for over 20 years, she has developed and implemented several courses for the Army. During her years as an instructor and trainer Mrs. Harrison has trained over 10,000 soldiers, officers, civilian students, instructors, training developers, supervisors and mangers. She has planned and coordinated several conferences, seminars and workshops, to include Positive thinking techniques, How to Motivate Employees, Communication Skills, Self Empowerment Techniques, Principles of Successful Networking, Prevention of Teen pregnancy, Prevention of Violence, and Drug Abuse for Teens.

EDUCATION: Master's Degree M.A., 1988, Adult Education, Hampton University, Bachelors Degree 1974, Education, Texas Southern University, Received honors for : Ft.Eustis Instructor of the Quarter; Ft. Eustis Instructor of the Year; TRADOC Civilian Instructor of the Year. Melvina's additional experience includes: • Motivational Spealker for the Gospel Annoouncers Guild Anniversary • Speaker for the "Prevention of Teen Pregnancy" Mt Zion Baptist Church • Appeared several times as host on WAVY 10, Television Broadcast, "Spread A Little Sunshine" • Keynote Speaker for "Gospel Announcer's Guild Anniversary", Richmond, Va.