3 Free Apps to Help You Network Like a Pro
As the saying goes, it's not what you know but who you know that can get you ahead in the world of business. While it also helps if you're amazing at what you do, there's no question that networking can help you get further faster.
If you're working on building your startup but need a professional connection or two to take it to the next level, these three networking apps can help you collect new contacts and keep track of the ones you have.
The designers of this app believe that talented people are all connected by no more than two degrees of separation. Since you already have so much in common, all you need is a third party to introduce the two of you and that's where INTRO comes in.
The app uses your LinkedIn and Facebook connections to find new people with the same interests then it automatically sends you an introduction card that you can accept or decline. If you're looking for someone with a specific skill, you can initiate a search and send an invite. INTRO will automatically find people near your location but you can use the "teleport" button to find people located elsewhere in the world.
This app gathers all of your contacts from your phone, your email address book, LinkedIn and Facebook and merges them into one searchable address book. With Brewster, you can find all of the contact information for, say, all of the developers you've met. Or all the people who worked at a specific company or everyone associated with your child's Little League team.
Once you've organized your contacts, Brewster helps you keep in touch using lists. You can see who is currently trending on social media and who is in your area so you can meet up. Pay special attention to the "Losing Touch" list. If you value these contacts, take a moment to reach out and reconnect.
Brewster is free for iPhone and you must connect through either Facebook or Twitter to use the app.
Sometimes all you get is a brief moment to make contact with someone. You're about to board a plane or you have to get on an important call. With Bump, all you have to do is literally bump smartphones and you've instantly traded contact information. It's faster than digging out a business card and often more practical since cards can be easy to lose or forget to bring with you.
You can also use Bump to instantly share your resume, business plan or any document on your phone. The downside is that the other person also has to have the Bump app installed on his or her device. But it works with both iOS and Android so device preference should be less of an issue.
If you need to change your contact information, send a single remote update to everyone who bumped you in the past. Bump is free but it does require a strong internet connection and standard data rates will apply.
Cynthia Boris is a freelance writer based in Orange County, Calif. Covering all things tech and TV, her work has appeared on websites such as Tecca, MarketingPilgrim, SheKnows and io9.