Live Your Most Beautiful Life
In the wake of a global recession, 80% of the jobs are being filled as a result of networking. This fact should make us all aware of the importance of professional networking. A strong network will give you a wealth of experiences to draw from when growing your own business or lend a hand in reaching your potential in the corporate world. Here are seven tips that will make networking easier for you if implemented.
1. Start With a Familiar Place
Whether you know it or not, you already have a business network at your disposal. Start your networking with family and friends whom you're already familiar with. Starting your network with people you already know will help you break down any apprehension you may have about opening up to people. Also, family and friends are often more willing to connect you to people whom can further strengthen your network. In addition to family and friends, start with places you regularly attend (e.g., church). These places have an array of people from all different backgrounds which can benefit and help you build your business in one form or another.
2. It's Not Just About You
Some of us go into networking events with an eye towards only networking with those that we feel can benefit us and our business ventures. However, this selfish approach rarely, if ever, works in your favor. Remember, businessmen and women have a vested interest in being able to recognize those with selfish motives and those with selfish motives at networking events are often perceived as leeches sucking all they can out of a relationship while bringing little or nothing to the table. With this in mind, approach networking with a giving mindset as well as an openness to being a connecting puzzle piece. A connecting puzzle piece is someone who is always willing to connect others together in order to build beneficial relationships. With networking, you reap what you sow. If you sow selfishness, you'll reap selfishness. Trust me, no one wants a leech in their business or personal network.
3. Be Prepared
Be prepared to sell yourself. You may believe that handing out business cards is a great selling technique, but its not. A business card is only a visual reminder to someone of how you sold yourself. So practice your personal pitch in order to build confidence in yourself and your brand. Practice because that first impression is your first step to gaining a great asset in your network.
4. Follow Up
Very few people follow up after networking events, so be sure to send follow up emails to every one you exchange business cards with. Following up with the people you meet shows them that you recognize their value. Also, following up reminds them of you and reaffirms your value to them. A simple follow up email goes a long way when it comes down to solidifying business contacts.
5. Be Consistent
Wherever you do the majority of your networking, be consistent with your attendance there. Consistent attendance at networking events reinforces the relationships that you are trying to build. Also, it opens the door to new relationships with those who may only attend the networking event every so often.
6. Utilize Your Passions
Regularly attending networking events or joining business organizations can get very expensive. So utilize the things you like to do as a means of building your network. Just as you may practice certain hobbies on a regular basis, other business men and women have regular hobbies as well so don't be afraid join different groups that are in line with your hobbies and network within those. We've all heard that great business deals take place on the golf course. You just have to find out which one of your passions is your own version of golf.
7. Ditch Your Fear of Rejection
Fear is anti-faith, anti-confidence, and anti-hard work. Don't let the fear of rejection stop you from building a professional network that can help you achieve your goals.
Written By: Cafe Belle's Money & Career Barista