Networking can be a little daunting when you are first starting out! You need to make networking work for you. It is useless to attend an event, listen to the presentations and then make a beeline for the door. Nobody is an amazing networker from the getgo. It takes time to develop your skills. Set yourself some goals by saying ‘at the next networking meeting, I am going to introduce myself to one person’, then the following, ‘two people’. Try and practice a little every day. Explore old and new connections on LinkedIn, they may hold many opportunities for you.
Network Advice. We explore below some tips to help you through.
- When speaking to other people, focus on them. Take time to find out what makes them tick. Ask, listen and watch.
- When introduced to a new person, use their name a few times to encourage a feeling of familiarity.
- Write down a few things about each new contact you make to use in follow up conversations.
- After meeting a new person, ask them how they would prefer you to follow up. If they choose social media, make sure to connect with them and promote their projects and tag them in your relevant posts.
- Ask lots of questions, people like talking about themselves. Instead of asking people ‘where they work’, focus instead on their passions, interests and hobbies.
- Arrive with a list of things you can offer others, don’t focus on the things you want.
It’s been a long day at work and now you have to attend the networking meeting you are dreading. Muster up some energy and motivation and go for it.
I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. – Steve Jobs