7 Essential Networking Tips You Have to Master
It’s all about being in the right place at the right time.
Networking is huge, especially if you’re starting a business or seek out a new job opportunity. It can seem overwhelming to constantly hear that it’s all about who you know, but people aren’t wrong when they say it.
Not only do you have to meet the right people, but you also have to know how to speak with them when they come across your path. There are many networking tips to try out that will help you start the conversation and secure the deal.
Keep reading below to discover seven of the top networking tips you need to try. Success is closer than you think.
1. Meet Your Friends’ Friends
Meeting people through people you already know is a huge part of networking. That’s why it’s important to establish good relationships from the start. If they trust you, they’ll be sure other people can trust you.
Pay attention to who someone might know at events, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself.
For example, you might notice one of your friends speaking to the owner of a business you’ve been trying to work with for months at a networking event. Casually walk over, say hello to your friend, and introduce yourself to the person you wish to establish a connection with.
Now that they know your name and face, find a quick moment to speak to them at the event.
2. Rehearse Your Elevator Pitch
There’s an art to writing an elevator pitch about yourself. Keep it brief, and make it persuasive.
It isn’t about walking up to someone and immediately asking for an opportunity, but it’s creating a desire to work with you. You can mention your skills and experience, and make sure to mention something you bring to the table.
Give your pitch with confidence, believing in your own qualities as a successful individual. If you don’t believe yourself, they won’t believe you either.
Before you leave the conversation, give them a reason to speak to you again.
3. Find a Way to Follow Up
One of the key networking marketing tips is finding a way to follow up with those you talk to and then following up with them. This can be in a few different ways.
A great way to guarantee a future conversation with someone is by asking for a business card or providing your own. Exchanging contact information of any kind is crucial.
You can also invite them to another small event. If your business is putting together a social event in the near future, ask them to come by. It creates another casual setting to speak and collaborate.
If you want to be bold, simply propose a time and place to meet for a private meeting. Have them meet you for a lunch at your favourite restaurant and tell them it’s your treat.
4. Create Interesting Questions
If there’s someone in high demand at a networking event, they’ve probably heard the same questions and conversation points all day. Make sure to come up with original questions.
A great way of doing this is by looking ahead of time at the event schedule. This is where the event might mention the names of speakers or panel members. Research some of the individuals that stand out to you.
Once you’ve done your research, come up with questions that will grab their attention.
Because you aren’t always able to do your research ahead of time, have a list of questions you can ask anyone. Ask them about current projects, industry trends, or their own personal work environment.
5. Utilize Social Media
When developing networking skills, it’s important to keep in mind that not all networking will take place in-person. With the power of social media, people are establishing important connections online all the time.
Follow key contacts and individuals you might want to start collaborations with on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Share their posts, comment, and send them a personalized message if you want to talk further about your ideas.
Take the elevator pitch you created and type it out.
Before you start contacting other people, make sure you’re up-to-date on all of your own social media advertising. Make consistent posts about your own business and brand. You want to present the best online image of yourself when establishing outside connections.
6. Be Prepared at Networking Events
At networking events, it’s easy to only focus on other people. Make sure you’re also comfortable and prepared. You need to have high energy.
Get a good night’s rest the night before a big event. Eat a balanced breakfast the next morning, and make sure to pick out a professional outfit to wear. You’ll also want to make sure you’re comfortable.
Pack a small bag with water and light snacks for the event. You can also throw in any other little things like gum or band-aids.
By keeping yourself up and running smoothly, you’ll be able to keep up with the event.
7. Use Basic Manners
Even though it sounds silly, one of the best marketing tips is using your manners.
Always speaking politely to those around you, make eye contact, and thank people for their time. When in a conversation, give the other person plenty of time to speak. Don’t seem distracted as they speak.
Never interrupt someone, and never speak badly about someone else as a conversation point. It all comes down to basic etiquette.
Networking is a key component to getting you and your business to where it needs to be. By using the networking tips above, you’ll be sure to have bright business opportunities coming your way.
Establish your elevator pitch, and make sure you’re confident in everything you say. Never be afraid to walk up to someone and start a conversation, and always find a way to follow up.
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