Networking can be so much fun, and it has been an amazing tool for me to build my business and my social life. There is much to learn and gain through connecting with people at networking events. You can learn new information, meet new business leads, make friends, exchange ideas, and build new partnerships. Each person’s reasons for networking are different, and you may find that your “why” for attending networking functions will change over time. I first started networking as a way to promote business. And while I still network with the main priority of sharing my business with others, more and more, I am turning to networking as a means to learn new business techniques and build relationships. Here are tips you can use to enhance your networking experience:
Be Open to Networking
Gone are the days when networking used to be strictly done in person. Social media websites are some of the very best networking tools that you can use to accomplish your networking goals. LinkedIn is especially effective as a website where you can join professional groups, share content, find potential employees, and find and apply for new jobs. One of the best things you can do to enhance your networking experience on LinkedIn is to be open to networking, meaning that you will accept LinkedIn requests to connect from people who you know and also from people who you do not personally know so that you can increase your chances of making lucrative connections.
Meet One on One
After you connect with someone for the first time either in person or via the internet, suggest that the two of you have a one on one meeting away from the networking venue where you first connected. This is important to do because the only way that good networking opportunities develop is when people are proactive about building a connection beyond the first meeting. Through the one on one meeting, you will each have the opportunity to discuss what piqued your interests in furthering the connection. Several of my one on one meetings with people who I have met through networking have led to business opportunities and valuable friendships.
The greatest compliment that you can give to someone else’s business, and the greatest compliment that someone can give to your business is to provide referrals. The best way that you can refer someone’s business is if you yourself have experience dealing with the company. Connecting with the people you meet via networking and working on a joint event or project together can be hugely beneficial to both of your businesses. Through joining forces, you might gain customers from each others’ companies, and this is especially advantageous if your businesses are complimentary and non-competing. For example, if you have a business selling jewelry and you join forces cross promoting with someone who has a business specializing in hair accessories, you will both attract a similar clientele of people who enjoy buying jewelry as well as hair decorations.
Have a notebook with you at all times when you attend networking venues. Whether it is a formal dinner banquet, or a casual outdoor community picnic, you should be prepared to learn from the people who you will meet. Use a pen and your notebook to write down the nuggets of great information that you will be sure to gain from speeches and conversations at networking events. Read through your notes and absorb the information that you learned. You would not have learned those fabulous business and life tips if you had not been part of that networking moment. Use what you have learned to advance your personal and professional life in the best ways possible.
Akua Hinds works as a marketing business owner, journalist, pianist, vocalist, teacher, and actress. Her 3 dating websites www.InterracialDesires.net, www.RichSinglesDate.net, and www.ChristianPartner.co, help millions of singles worldwide to find their soulmates. Akua’s Pure Romance by Akua Hinds business at www.PureRomance.com/AkuaHinds helps adults to connect and to shop for the best romance products on the market. Please visit www.AkuaHinds.com for more information.