Networking is as beneficial and worthwhile as the conversations you have with your new connections.
Granted, networking isn’t easy, but you do not have to be the most confident or loudest person in the room to be a successful networker. Last week we explained a few of our top tips - this week it’s all about putting them into action!
Did you know that 78% of start-ups say networking is vital to their entrepreneurial endeavors, claims Forbes ? As a co-working brand with spaces in 4 locations already, Freedom Works knows first hand how our members benefit from working within a collaborative community. Business can be found on your door-step (quite literally!) According to a 2016 report by LinkedIn, 85 percent of all jobs are filled via networking too…. As the saying goes, it truly is not what you know, it’s who you know!
But how do I identify what events to attend?
Our advice is to be open to try all, however, do your research before so your time can be benefited.
Before attending/ requesting to attend an event, search the type of companies/ people that might be attending. Often, events have a guest speaker: look into that person/ business (either on the event website or through LinkedIn) as you will be able to identify a member base of business/ brands that might be attending.
After registering to attend an event, the event organisers often publish names of attendees. It is beneficial to look into the members who would be attending so you can pinpoint, points of contact too.
If you are more of a shy networker, ask the event organisers to do a small intro to a particular member you are interested in talking to. They’re often more that happy to help!
Okay - so that’s before attending an event… what about during?
Try to keep these three topics at the centre of your mind when talking to new connections:
- Identifying clearly who you work for (try not to overwhelm your new acquaintance with particular business jargon - keep your intro simple and short with a clear message)
- Identify and shout about what’s different about your brand (your business might be in competition with other organisations at the event - make sure you stand out!)
- Identify and explain to acquaintances how you are looking to benefit from the event (explain the types of business you are looking to connect to… that person might be standing in front of you, or you can be pointed in the right direction!)
Okay, so you’ve now done the hard graph… but now is where the real progress will shine through. This is through the ‘Follow-up’
Following up to these new connections is one of the most important factors to be a successful networker. It’s often overwhelming when you’ve had so many great conversations with people and are left with a hefty heap of business cards that you’ve now got to put into action…
However, hit the handy link here on LinkedIn where you can connect to everyone in the room (quite literally) through turning on your bluetooth settings and sharing your account! This saves valuable follow up time and prompts you to continue your developing relationship with your new connection. :)
That’s a wrap on this week’s blog, but stay tuned for next week’s blog in our networking series where we’re discussing The Powers of Social Media.