Working your network
The quiet time of January and early February is the right time to do something outside of your regular schedule. By this, we mean that it’s the right time to casually reconnect with your contacts and show them who you are. It’s important for staying relevant and for proper marketing, as well.
However, though it sounds very simple, networking takes a lot of work. That’s why it’s a perfect project for when you don’t have much to do. So let’s take a look at some tips that will help you become better at networking.
Tips on how to be better at networking
- Always have clear goals
Just as it goes with every other part of running your business, you need to have clear goals for networking. Most professionals who excel at networking will tell you the same because they know that their goals are crucial to their success. On top of that, having a clear set of goals will give you the motivation and a road map to complete them.
Our advice is to do more than the regular exchange of cards, numbers, and mutual connections on LinkedIn. Get your goals to include personal meetings as well – they bring much more value than connecting online.
- Take a step back and remind yourself it’s not all about business
Yes, you are networking with the goal of expanding your business. However, you shouldn’t forget that you are talking to a real person. That’s why it’s useful to take a step back and remind yourself of that.
Then you can focus more on them when you talk. By doing that, you’ll catch an opportunity when it presents itself.
- Prepare questions for events
It might sound silly to some, but it’s actually quite easy to run into a mental block and ruin a conversation. That’s why it’s good to have prepared questions, especially when going to networking events where you plan to meet many people.
Here’s a list of questions you might want to ask other professionals and potential clients. (But don’t ask them all at once – that would be far too exhausting!).
- Always be ready to give feedback if you have something constructive to say
Sticking to the topic of events, it’s always useful to give feedback there, especially to the organiser. Naturally, you need to have something constructive to say. When you do, feedback becomes a handy tool for starting a relationship. Plus, it works on other occasions as well, not only at events.
- Social media should always be one of your main tools for networking
It can help you find out who is attending specific events, and it can help you learn about people you want to connect with.
On top of that, you can always meet someone over social media first, making that initial approach more comfortable when you see them in person.
The bottom line
As you can see, there’s a lot more to networking than first meets the eye. If you want to become a successful networker and develop meaningful relationships that will help you improve your business, then these tips are bound to help.
Also, if you want to know more or get some help, feel free to contact Thought Leadership Initiative.