Networking the Right Way for your Business Goals
Networking events can be a great use of your time or a total waste of it. If you have a calendar packed liked mine tends to be, there is little room for “time wasters.” Make the best use of your time with networking the right way. Check out the tips below to optimize your event attendance!
Get specific on your goals and who you need to connect with to make them a reality.
Depending on the status of your business you may be looking for investors or you may just be looking for a creative connection. Determine your business goals and take a look at the event and potential access the attendee list if possible! See who you can connect with to advance those goals and make things happen.
Get to know as much as you can about those people before contacting them.
Those attendees you want to connect with? Do some online research and find out everything you can. Stalk them like an ex on Instagram, check out their LinkedIn, review their website and bio. Having those tid-bits in your back pocket can really help you spark a conversation and open that door to more.
Offer value before asking for value.
Don’t take something without giving something in return. Offer value to your networking connection however you can. It could be offering up an introduction to someone they are wanting to connect with or presenting some helpful info about their industry. You can be creative with this one, but make sure to have something valuable to offer up.
Make it as easy as possible for them to help you.
Provide a direct contact or super simple steps to move forward. Even writing a sample introduction for them that they can simply copy and paste drastically increases the likelihood they will connect you to someone else. The harder it is for your new connection to follow up on your request, the less likely it will actually happen.
Always follow up and keep them updated.
Follow up with the discussed next steps and keep them in the loop on your progress. Another major thing? THANK THEM. Be gracious about the time, resources, etc. that they have invested back into you.
Whatever networking event you have on the upcoming calendar, make the best of it! Put yourself out there and take risks, but also be prepared when making those connections!