shapr-1You may already get the importance of networking and attending events or sending messages with the intention of connecting. However, networking is not about the original action, but about the relationships that come from putting yourself out there. We’ve teamed up with Shapr, the free app for meaningful networking, and a few of our colleagues to provide you with 5 tips to turn networking into meaningful relationships long after you exchange business cards.

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“For me, it’s about switching from what can I get from this event or person to focusing on what can I give and what value can I bring to the experience. When I concentrate on that, I feel more empowered, and I naturally build more authentic and strategic partnerships, and more importantly, relationships.” -Sarah Hernholm, Doing Whatever It Takes (WIT)

“People can sense phoniness. If you are true to who you are, people will more likely open up to you personally. There is nothing stronger than a personal relationship.” -Bucky Heath, MLB Media, and

“Be organic. Try to make a meaningful connection. If you force it, people notice. Others are more likely to remember you if you genuinely make a connection. The end will come when the timing is right! ” -Haley Melander, Tommy Hilfiger

“Listening is even more important than speaking—it lets someone know that you value what they have to say. Plus, you can learn something and also have something to reference if you see that person again. For example, I know the last time we spoke you were launching a new campaign. How did that go?.” -Cara Murphy, PricewaterhouseCoopers

“The goal of networking is not to find out what someone does for work, but what they are interested in doing long term. Be genuinely interested in every person you talk to and ask about his or her passions. Afterward, be a connector. Introduce friends with similar goals, and focus on building friendships with the people you meet. When you do need something later on, your friends will be happy to help the person who helped further their own careers.” – Mandy Menaker, Shapr

“If you think of networking as purely, here’s what I do, what do you do, can you help me, yes or no? Then you’re missing your biggest opportunities for open doors. Instead, approach networking as getting to know each person you encounter. You give yourself a chance to learn their passions, their back-story, and their hopes for the future. The key is to be genuinely interested.” -Jessica Kelly, Thr3efold

“It’s common knowledge to follow-up with someone within a day or so of meeting with them, but take it a step further by setting calendar reminders to follow up with that person three or four months down the line. It is a long enough time that you will not look over-persistent in keeping in touch with the individual, and a short email to catch up with someone every few months will keep you top-of-mind. It will only take about 5 minutes out of your day!” -Paige Funk,

“People appreciate freebies so if you have a plus one to an event, then invite your new contact to build the relationship. They most likely will do the same and everyone wins since you both will have the opportunity to connect with more people!” -Rhiannon Pena, Barclays

With these proactive tips, we hope you will focus your next conversation on the relationship rather than the immediate need. Networking brings people together over shared passions and ideas and is something you valuable worth doing.

For more tips and networking opportunities, check out Shapr—a networking app that brings you a personalized daily dose of inspiring people to meet.

The goal behind Shapr is to create an environment in which networking becomes a daily habit. Shapr provides users with the fastest and most efficient way to network while avoiding the awkwardness of sending or rejecting requests to connect. Swipe a profile right if you’d like to connect, swipe left if you don’t. Once you get a match, you can chat and set up a time to grab coffee in person. It’s a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and expand your network with nearby professionals.

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At Conscious, we are inspired by stories that cause us to think differently and think big-picture and so we set out to tell stories with the help of leaders and influencers within the social good community. You can read more stories like this when you join as a member.