The ability to network effectively can greatly increase the success of your business.
Networking and getting your name out there – in a positive way – builds credibility for your business and can grow your customer base. However, networking doesn’t come easy for a lot of individuals; it can be daunting and may seem unnatural. Consider the following tips and tricks for networking:
Get to know yourself
Networking can be especially hard if you aren’t able to articulate or understand the unique skill set you have to offer. Think about all of your accomplishments and assess what helped you to achieve them. These are all skills that other people may find valuable.
People in the business world who apologise excessively can come across as powerless. If you need to ask for help, just ask for it and be thankful. You don’t need to say sorry or make it known that you feel like you are an inconvenience.
A big mistake people often make when networking is being unauthentic. If you are speaking with someone who has completely different interests to you, don’t act like you know everything about the topic just to keep up. Instead, ask questions and really take the opportunity to learn about that topic. And when you can, talk about topics you are passionate about and interested in, not just topics you think people want to hear about.
You’ve met someone that may be of use to you in your business life and you have their business card. You should pursue this and follow up with them. Something as simple as sending an email saying you enjoyed your conversation with them and would like to stay in contact is all it takes to make a new business connection.