Imagine being a stranger in a strange land.

There is no stranger situation than being the sole person left on Mars, as was well portrayed in The Martian, a movie I talked about yesterday, and will again today.

aliens1I recalled a story a friend told me when she relocated to a strange city and knew no one, the result of a family member’s corporate move.

When she found out about the move ahead of time, she initiated the search among her LinkedIn connections, and their connections (1st, 2nd, 3rd level) in and around that city.

She insisted on a warm introduction to the new person from the connection they shared.

She then reached out to these potential connectors in that city to ease the way into the right circles for her industry and future networking needs. Many were amazingly generous and welcoming. Some gave unsolicited yet valuable insight to improve her effectiveness.

She researched LinkedIn groups in that city and environs: chambers of commerce, business networking groups, alumni chapters, industry association groups there, affinity and hobby groups, on and on.

She sought advice from her other social networks, and using that information she researched names and introductions via LinkedIn.

Upon arrival in her new town, she made each meeting or email a richer one by asking deeper questions, with the knowledge she had gained.

When the relocation realtor the company provided turned out to be a poor match, she asked her new town entourage for referrals. To keep from repeating the mistake, that led her to review each realtor’s social media presence (including LinkedIn) and decide which to use (or not).

So, dear reader, before you attend a new networking group, or meet a new client, or go listen to a speaker or attend a class, do your research. The feeling of “stranger in a strange land” can become “new connector in an exciting new environment.”

Look out world (or Mars!), armed with knowledge, you are much more powerful and effective in turning ideas to reality, prospects to business.

Use the tools at your disposal in creative ways and make the most of every connection.