Six Tips that Every Professional Should Keep in Mind
We’ve all heard the old saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Anyone with experience in the professional world knows exactly how accurate that axiom can be at times. The benefits of networking with potential clients, investors, employers and employees are undeniable — but actually getting out there and talking about yourself is usually a lot easier to think about than to actually do. In short, networking is difficult! Here are a few tips that you can use to make your next networking opportunity more productive.
1. Be On Top of Your Business Card Game.
First and foremost, then means making sure that you have enough business cards to go around. There are few things more embarrassing than having to write your name and number on a scrap of paper because you don’t have any more business cards with you. If you really want to make yourself stand out, finding an impactful yet tasteful way of customizing your business card is a great strategy. This article from graphic design company Canva highlights an array of business card examples you might find inspiring.
2. Consider Volunteering.
If you find approaching people to be a challenge, then volunteering could be an excellent opportunity for you, as it ensures that you will be directly involved in the community of organizers and attendees.
3. Forget the Notion of “Fashionably Late.”
In psychology, there exists a notion known as the “serial position effect.” This theory expresses the tendency of people to remember the first and the last events in a series best, while forgetting more details about the middle sections. In concrete terms, this means that greeting people as they come into the event is one of the best things you can do to ensure that you leave a lasting impression. By the way, we recommend showing up early!
4. Channel Your Curiosity.
Being interested is almost always a better conversational strategy than being interesting — which is why we recommend using your natural sense of curiosity to learn more about the people you interact with at networking events. This will help your interaction feel more authentic and organic, allowing you to leave an impression without being overly “salesy.”
5. Follow Up!
Journalist Dave Roos argues that if you fail to make contact within 48 hours of meeting a new contact, you have essentially lost that person. Emails, texts, or even phone calls are all good ways of achieving this, but be sure to make your follow ups personalized and organic.
6. Get Connected on Social Media.
If you can find what social network your “target audience” for a networking event uses, then reaching out to everyone you meet online is a great way of maintaining your connection over time. Many entrepreneurs and investors, for example, should be contacted via LinkedIn; whereas Instagram is a great place to stay in touch with marketers and artists.
Need more help improving your networking strategies and opportunities? Visit Zenvoy online to learn more about how our one on one networking platform can help!