When running your own business establishing mutually beneficial relationships with other businesspeople is something you simply have to do. Not only that this can help you bring in more clients it also gives you a chance to meet people who could help you take your business to the next level. However, it’s not all about showing up at a networking event and waiting for that kind of people to approach you. Instead, what you need to do is make sure you’re equipped with networking skills that’ll help you meet those you want. And to help you, we’ve come up with five ways you can improve your networking skills.
Attending a networking shouldn’t be an accident, meaning that you can’t just show up and expect things to go their way. Therefore, it’s very important that you plan to be there and come up with specific goals for each of your events. The best way to do this is to start at the beginning of each year when you’re working on your business plan. Think about things like who you want to meet this year? What do you want your business to achieve this year? Once you have answers to all of these questions, you’ll know exactly what your mission is for every networking event you attend. At the end of the year, assess how well you did at those events and think about changes you can make in your approach.
Understand social events
One of the biggest problems entrepreneurs face when attending networking events is feeling like they’re walking into a party without knowing absolutely everyone. And there’s hardly anything they can achieve with that attitude. So, when attending networking events, you need to make sure you’re ready to interact with people you meet as if you knew all the other attendees. This is where keeping your business cards in your pocket can come in handy. Moreover, you’ll want to pay some extra attention to your appearance since you’ll have people look at you from across the room all the time. Moreover, try to spend less time with individuals you know since networking is all about meeting new people.
Join a co-working space
Networking events sure are a great opportunity for you to meet other businesspeople. However, in order to get invited or simply make sure you fit in, you’ll need to find a way to get your name out there. A lot of Sydney-based entrepreneurs now decide to join co-working spaces which are great for networking, since there are other businesspeople next to your office all the time. If you’re moving, think about joining one of these and you’ll have plenty of networking opportunity even before you start attending events. Moreover, you’ll become more comfortable with networking as you’ll always be surrounded by other businesspeople. Luckily, finding a serviced office in Sydney shouldn’t be too difficult.
Embrace social media
There’s no need to say that social media plays a huge role in today’s world. And platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can do wonders for your networking efforts. Once you start attending networking events, you’ll have to think about staying in touch with the people you meet. And that’s social media comes into play. LinkedIn is all about keeping businesspeople up-to-date with what’s happening with their colleagues, clients and friends in terms of their work. The best way to connect with others on LinkedIn is to talk to them about it before you connect on the platform. Once you get to know those people better, adding them on Facebook is also an option.
Host your own events
If you’re new at networking, chances are you haven’t really thought about hosting your own networking events. However, this is something that can do wonders for your business. Not only this, but it’ll help you become more comfortable with networking which is always a huge plus. When hosting your first networking event, make sure it’s both smooth and simple. Remember, it’s all about giving your attendees a chance to talk to other people. It’s also recommended that you try to connect people with those who would benefit from meeting each other. This will not only make your event a success but help you form important relationships as well.
Follow these five ways and you’ll be guaranteed to give your networking skills a huge boost. Just remember that you should keep working on improving your networking skills even once you become a regular at such events.
Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at BizzMark Blog.