In business, and most areas of life, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, which is why there’s such an importance in the modern world to network. From networking with people within your own business, making new connections online, and creating relationships with people in your local area, networking is critical.
That being said, networking properly is a skill, and it takes practice is get it right and to understand what you’re looking for. While simple to learn and difficult to master, today we’re going to share with you some of my top networking tips to get you off on the right foot.
Set Yourself a Goal
Just like anything in life, if you don’t really know what you’re doing or why you’re doing it, you’re not going to do it properly. The same applies to networking. Are you trying to meet people to see who’s out there, or perhaps you’re looking for a certain type of person in particular?
Always have this goal clear in your mind when you attend meetings and get in touch with people online.
Having confidence is a huge part of networking, and if you don’t have it or you’re shy, you’re not going to be giving yourself the best opportunity to have the best, most beneficial experience possible.
The best step to take to get started with talking to new people is to learn some new icebreakers. This will depend on what kind of networking you’re doing, but a quick online search will help give you some ideas.
Bring a Friend
“Going to a networking event alone can be a daunting idea, especially for the more introverted of us. A big room full of complete strangers? No, thank you. However, bringing a friend with you can make you feel much more comfortable and can help you lower your barriers, which means you’ll be much more yourself when talking to others” shares Jason Paul, a project manager for Boom essays and Australian help.
Be Clear What You Want
While we’ve been speaking a lot about confidence, this extends to being clear with people about what you want. Everyone attends a networking event for their own reasons, so being clear and open with yours, is a great idea because you won’t be creating relationships with people for the wrong reasons.
Network on Social Media Properly
Social media is now one of the best ways to meet new people and to expand your connections and inner circles, but only if you do it properly. We’ve all signed into our LinkedIn accounts to find a ton of messages from people wanting you to sign up to some website or connect in some way or another.
This is the wrong way to network.
Instead, follow people you think you’ll want to connect with and reach out to them in a human way. Don’t copy and paste the same message to everyone; just have an actual human conversation from person to person. This is where real connections start.
Understand What You Do
You have value. With your business, your products, and your services, you’ve created something from nothing and have value to bring into the lives of others, so remember this when going into networking events.
“Understand that only you can offer what you offer, and in many respects, you are better than your competitors. Now practice what you’re going to say to help portray this image to other people you speak to. Understand what makes you, you” shares Alice Bronson, a marketer for Paper Fellows and OX Essays.
Don’t Make It All About You
Go to any networking meeting, and you’ll find people who do the rounds and only talk about one thing the entire time; themselves. It’s okay to talk about yourself, but an equal relationship is built on having the two parties involved having balance.
Don’t be that person who everyone can’t wait to get away from because you can’t talk about anything else. Listen to when people speak to you and ask questions to help understand them better.
Networking is one of those skills you can endlessly learn about, but you won’t get the best practice until you do it for yourself. Take what you’ve learned today and get out there into the world. New opportunities are right in front of you.