Networking 101

When I shared my game plan for 2020, I shared a few of my business goals. One of them in to get back into networking and making connections. When I worked my first corporate job, networking was a huge part of my role. I was always researching events to attend, figuring out ways to bring exposure, and share information about the company with others. I’m not going to lie…. I hated it. I was young, scared, and it was intimidating to me at the time. In my head I would think “Am I going to say the wrong thing”?, “Are they even listening”?, etc.

Naturally, I’m shy and sometimes it can take a while for me to open up to people. Now that I’m a little older, I understand the importance of networking and how it can be beneficial to you and your business. I believe it’s a character builder.

If networking scares you, check out some of my tips below!

 

1.) Be confident

I know how daunting networking can be. You know who you are! Introduce yourself, give a firm handshake, and make eye contact. In the past, I used to be the one to wait around for someone to come up to me but it’s so important to take initiative.

2.) Use compliments as an icebreaker

Now when doing this, you do not want to come off as thirsty or a** kissing just to have a conversation with them — but it helps to get the conversation going and potentially build a relationship.

3.) Don’t spread yourself too thin

This is important. Think about quality vs quantity in this case. Of course the ultimate goal is to make as many connections as possible, but it’s impossible to attend every event and conference. You’re going to be no good to anyone or be able to share your best self when you’re packing your schedule.

4.) Listen

Actually listen and digest the conversation. Make sure you’re not talking about yourself too much and allow the other person to get a word in. It can be annoying when getting to know someone and you’re constantly talking about yourself and cutting the other person off.

5.) Follow up

Okay so the conversation went great and you guys exchanged information. Cool, you survived! But following up is key. Now a days, it’s easy to ask for their Instagram than a business card. It feels more casual and less stuffy. Depending on your job or business, you may need to ask for a business card. It really all depends on the person you’re speaking with. When I worked in corporate, I still keep in contact with the connections I have built. We reach out to each other during birthdays, congratulate each other with career milestones, go to lunch, etc. Following up can really lead to some great friendships.

 

I hope these tips are helpful! Of course there’s plenty of tips out there so do your research. These are all based off of my experience. Even though it can be a little intimidating at the end of the day, just have fun with it!

 

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15 Comments

  1. Jennifer Prince
    January 13, 2020 / 2:25 pm

    Listening is SO key with networking. So many people are anxious to talk about themselves that no one really ends up listening. That is such great advice!!

  2. Stephanie Whitman
    January 13, 2020 / 6:01 pm

    This came just in time, as I have a networking event coming up at the end of January that I’ve been especially nervous about. I appreciate your tips and I can’t wait to put them to use at the event. I especially love the part about using a compliment to break the ice!

  3. Dianne Kelly
    January 13, 2020 / 6:46 pm

    You are so on point! I hate small talk but I have to do it to eat. So how’s your weather been? 😐

  4. January 13, 2020 / 8:08 pm

    So many people fear walking into a room and to introduce themselves to strangers. Smiling will put your nerves at ease and come across as inviting and warm.

  5. January 13, 2020 / 10:35 pm

    Networking use to make me feel so uncomfortable but once I built my confidence it became a breeze. I learned show you build genuine relationships

  6. January 13, 2020 / 11:58 pm

    These are great pointers! Listening is so important and so is being confident!!

    Kileen
    cute & little

  7. Nataly
    January 14, 2020 / 6:58 am

    These are such great tips! I struggle networking at events and need all the help I can get. Thanks for sharing babe!

  8. January 14, 2020 / 9:31 am

    I am still so bad at networking but when I do it, it’s been very rewarding for me! I’ve landed two jobs in my career due to my networks!

  9. January 14, 2020 / 10:43 am

    I’ve never really been one to network but I want to so badly. I’m not so good at going to people ands tarting conversation. But these are really useful tips.

  10. January 14, 2020 / 12:28 pm

    These are all great tips especially using compliments because ass missing gets no where. People can typically see right through it!

  11. January 14, 2020 / 1:21 pm

    I know how great it feels to get a compliment so I always try to find something even small to compliment someone on.

  12. January 14, 2020 / 2:12 pm

    I love this whole list. The two that resonated the most with me were confidence and taking initiative. When someone introduces themselves first and tackles the icebreaker, it is always so impressive. I think I’ll start trying that more often!

  13. January 15, 2020 / 12:28 pm

    Networking- so much easier said than done but I think you nailed these tips! Listening is so important— it’s so annoying when you meet someone and it’s obvious they are t listening to you and just trying to shove their agenda down your throat.

  14. January 15, 2020 / 1:22 pm

    I wish I was better at networking!!! It can be so hard! Great pointers.

  15. January 16, 2020 / 9:14 am

    These are such great tips! Networking can be so daunting, but it’s so necessary.

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