Networking plays a great deal in every career field. It’s important to sharpen your skills to be able to make the right moves. I always thought of networking as a bad word, I never personally wanted to feel like I was asking people for favours – and i rarely do haha i guess i like to do it myself – but if you use this skill genuinely and with good intentions, the results can be incredible. I am always helping out my friends and expect nothing in return, so keep that in mind for yourself. Here are a few tips to be a better networker even if you’re shy or like me …
DON’T THINK OF IT AS NETWORKING BABE
I hate to think of networking like I am just asking someone for a favour. You never want to seem like you are using someone for a connection. I like to think of it as connecting to my friends or inner circle, people who I genuinely like and talk to regardless of how they might be able to connect me to someone else. For me this is the most important thing to remember. Many people who I haven’t spoken to for years reach out to me and ask me for favours out of the blue and this is a huge turn off! Never be that person FYI>
INVEST IN YOUR CIRCLE
The best way to start networking is to pay attention to your existing circle and like minded friends. Former managers, co-workers, and classmates are a great way to dip your toe into networking also. Even people you may have known for a long time may have never mentioned to you some odd job they had or connection they forgot to tell you about.
KEEP IN TOUCH AND STAY ACTIVE
If you come across a cool post or interesting article or opportunity one of your contacts would appreciate, shoot them an email or a text! Im always seeing random things and thinking ” WOW that would be amazing for ….” or she would LOVE THAT. An easy way to keep in touch is to follow people in your field on social media. Be really active with their accounts, leave them likes and comments frequently. This also gives you a chance to see if they are attending the same event or are in the same area as you so you can easily say hello. If their birthday pops up on your feed send them well wishes. This really needs to be genuine though angels …. NO FAKE HERE.
LEARN THE ELEVATOR PITCH 😉
Practice introducing yourself and your brand in a clear, concise manner. Imagine you only have an elevator ride with your idol, what would you say to form a connection? Really you have about 10 – 15 seconds MAX to say what you need to. Keep it short and sweet and give whoever you are talking to a card or number and give them the opportunity to follow up with you on their terms if its something they would like to chat about more. Be YOU, trying to mimick or be or speak like someone you aren’t wont help you in the long run.
DON’T SPREAD YOURSELF TOO THIN – DONT BURN YOURSELF OUT
There’s no way you can attend every event or email every connection regularly. Haha as some oof my male friends will say “don’t go to the opening of every envelope!’. Make time weekly to send out follow-ups and emails but don’t overpack your schedule to the point that no one is getting the best version of you. Go to events or meets that you think suit you and your work and your goals.
LISTEN AND ASK QUESTIONS
It’s easy to get super chatty, especially when you’re nervous but remember to listen. I tend to blabber and speak far too much crap when nervous, then afterwards im like WHAT DID I SAY? If you’re looking to grow your brand or your business, inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime. Don’t get so caught up in yourself that you miss what’s right under your nose.
Now let’s get into some intros! Tell me a bit about yourself and what you do, feel free to chat with like minded individuals and let’s build connections 🙂. Ask questions!
I know its short and sweet angels, but i hope this in some way can be helpful to you … as always!