For some of us, networking is a very scary thing. Turning up to an event where you may not know anyone, everyone else seems to know everyone, whilst you feel like you are standing in the corner like billy no mates, wondering whether to get your business cards out or not.
For others, it’s a natural thing, grab a coffee, get chatting, making connections.
So, here’s our top 5 tips on networking success:
- Go to networking events! Getting out there and meeting people in the flesh is a fantastic way for people to find out more about you and your business. People connect with people – but you do need to be consistent. Turning up at one event and expecting to get instant work is not what it’s all about. It’s about building relationships and people getting to know YOU and what you do, so that they can recommend you or even use your services themselves. It’s not always about the people in the room – who knows if their best pal is your next biggest client ever!
- Talk to people – if you are worried about turning up to an event on your own, perhaps take a pal or colleague, or speak to the person who’s running the event to say that you are a bit nervous – they will be sure to look out for you, and introduce you to relevant people, so that you have someone to talk to straightaway.
- Only get your business cards out if you are asked. Some networking events encourage business card “swapping”, some have a table where you can put your cards so people can take them if interested, but the best way is if, when you are chatting to people, they ask for your card!
- Be interested in other people. Find out what they do, how they work, what kind of clients they are looking for. People generally love to help each other, so by helping others, you will find that it comes straight back to ya!
- Enjoy it! Go along with an open mind, relaxed, with no agenda but to meet other business people. You will be amazed at the things you will learn along the way, not just business exchange and recommendations, but ideas, apps and software people are using that help their business, brainstorming and incredible friendships and collaborations being formed. Just go for it!
So there you have it! Get out there – there are tons of networking groups around, run by fabulously friendly peeps – some of our favs include My Mustard’s A Little Bit Of Networking run by the fabulous June Cory, Mums Unlimited run by the fabulous Debbie Gilbert, and TBC Jellies run by fabulous members of TBC
And don’t forget that with TBC you can network online too! Same philosophy, turn up, be consistent, be engaging, “chat” and listen too! Simples!