Summary: Use these tips to help you conquer your next networking event and take the scariness out of it.
Networking is a necessary part of becoming successful in your career. No one necessarily enjoys going up to strangers to strike up a conversation, but you never know what you can gain from the experience. The connections you form may become a life saver when you find yourself looking for a new job or career change. Use these 33 tips to make networking easier:
- Focus on the other person during conversations. Learn what motivate them by asking, listening and observing.
- Use the person’s name a few times when you first meet them to help you remember their name and feel more familiar with them.
- Before sending a LinkedIn invite to a new contact, follow up with them the next day.
- Ask about the person’s hobbies, passions, and interests instead of just “where do you work?”
- Go to networking events with a list of things you can offer instead of what you want from others.
- Remember the reason to network is that business success relies on connections.
- Ask how your new contact would like to be followed-up with: phone, email, LinkedIn, or other.
- Don’t rush the new connection, true relationships take time to build.
- Give your connection as reason to like you if you want them to help you.
- Focus on the happiness that comes from making new acquaintances instead of the fear of talking with strangers.
- Even if you don’t drink, go to the bar at conferences because that is where everyone else goes to relax.
- Invite other conference attendees to dinner and pay the bill.
- Be excited that you get the opportunity to network.
- Try a simple “hi.”
- Skip some of the sessions at a conference and instead stand in the hallway where you can get extra time to chat with others.
- You can network through social media too. Build relationships by promoting their stuff and tagging them in your posts.
- Have other interesting things to talk about besides just your work.
- Seek our leadership roles so that people will be coming to you to network.
- Take notes after talking with someone to remember a few details about each of them that you can use to follow-up with.
- Don’t take all of someone’s time. If you are the only one doing all the talking, wrap things up and move on to someone else.
- Don’t bother with your elevator pitch during networking. You want to sound authentic not like a salesperson.
- Consider having a special budget just for using during networking events.
- Bring a friend with the skill of talking with you to networking events to help break the ice.
- You don’t have to attend a conference just to network – coffee shops and bars work too.
- If you run out of thing to talk about, discuss the setting of the event.
- It isn’t all about collecting business cards.
- Everyone at networking events is in the same boat as you.
- Generosity is the true currency used to form strong relationships.
- Figuring out your career path is easier when you find someone that has already navigated it.
- Amp up your LinkedIn presence before you go to the event so that your name is already out there.
- Be helpful, generous, and considerate when following-up with new contacts after the event.
- Keep “yes” in your mind when networking.
- It will be scary but apply to be a speaker at a conference, this way everyone will know you and will make networking easier.
Read these related articles to learn more about improving your networking experience.
Photo: ecompworld.com33 Quick Tips to Improve Your Networking Experience by Amanda Griffin