If you ask any business professional, they will tell you that networking is one of the most crucial ingredients to success. However for those just getting into the networking sphere, it may difficult to determine the best ways to network. Networking is all about people enjoying each others company while communicating passions and connecting with others that enjoy similar passions. So, if you are having a hard time, we have some networking tips to get you started.
Take Advantage of Social Media
The art of networking does not have to be a face to face affair. Everything you need is right on your fingertips. Most entrepreneurs and professionals can attest that they do get lonely and finding time for face to face meetings with new people and strangers is difficult. The worst part is sacrificing your time only to be disappointed and find out that you have nothing in common with these people. Nonetheless, social media has come to the rescue of many, offering various platforms to choose from. To make things more interesting, people are using social media to create clubs and groups with people of common interest. You could also come across various communities within your local area and get to mingle with individuals you never knew existed.
Attend Events/Meet People
Get out of that bubble and attend some local events. Not just any events, but those that are designed to help you network within your industry or community, especially local community. Events are a great way to find people within your reach who share similar interests and you can use this opportunity to connect and have conversations. Events make things easy because the topics seem to be free flowing and familiar. It is one of the important networking tips. Some business events are so great that you may find yourself presented with the opportunity to present a short sales pitch to the attendees. With the rise of the internet, there are now plenty of virtual networking events. Simply choose the most beneficial and start making life changing friendships.
Follow through and Build Trust as you Network
The best way to encourage a continuing business relationship is to follow up after every meeting. To be fair, it does not have to be a voice call, but you can consider writing a note or emailing. When reaching out, ensure to express how good it was to meet with them. Even if the meeting did not go as planned, it is nice to follow up and thank them for meeting anyway. By doing this, it aids in building trust within your network because when you are actively taking the time to thank people for spending their time with you, you begin to establish deeper relationships and a feeling of trust.
Become more Active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the place for social media clout but for business professionals. If you do not know much about it, LinkedIn is specifically engineered to help you network. You can connect with people you know personally or professionally and share articles or posts related to your business. Most of the users use the platform to find advice, create and see job postings. Also, to get motivation and be in the loop with events in their area.
Have a Plan
Before you dive right in, understand what you can bring to the table. It is essential that you understand your value and worth before making random connections. Have a plan of how your talents, strengths, skills sets and connections can help the next person. Also, before attending any networking event, map out what you want to talk about and what you wish to benefit from the connections you pursue.