Did you know that 90% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family? You know what I love? Puppies. You know what I don’t love as much? Networking events. I just feel like I’m not great at “networking” - I don’t really even know what that means, but I feel like I struggle. One of my goals this year is to do more “networking,” more community building, more helping of my fellow entrepreneurs.
Sometimes in order to propel yourself forward, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and one of the best ways to do that is to go to industry events where you can meet influencers, colleagues, and neat people in your community who can give you the skinny on: other businesses with similar goals, fun new partnership opportunities, where to find new clients, and just generally creating new relationships with people that you might like… and maybe get a new lead or two, a referral, you know, the goods.
Give people opportunities to talk about themselves
While there are a few exceptions to every rule, most people feel comfortable and like talking about themselves, so after you introduce yourself, go straight into questions that will get people talking. Ask them: What do you like most about the position you are in? What can you tell me about the company you work for? What’s your favorite part about your job?
Compliments are a way to every person’s heart
When you go up to someone at an industry event, it’s a great idea to compliment them on something they presented on or on the quality and content of their business, or to just compliment the surroundings and ask them what their thoughts are on the event. It doesn’t have to be a discussion about rocket science to start, it just needs to be genuine.
Reveal something about yourself
Telling people something about yourself that is genuine and authentic will allow others to open up as well. Of course, don’t tell them your whole life story, but revealing that you are a little stressed about how much work you need to do, or just plain old throwing it out there that you are terrible at networking, will most likely endear you to your audience. And, it will most likely make them feel comfortable enough to open up and reveal information as well. Tada - new friend!
Getting ahead can happen with just plain old hard work and grit, but more times than not, it also requires putting yourself out there to meet the right people (and I don’t mean just by creating a Linkedin profile). Looking for opportunities to network and meeting others face-to-face is an essential and critical way to propel your business. Get out there and take chances, and remember, when all else fails, listen, and let others talk about themselves.
What happens after you meet someone at a networking event? They look you up on social media, of course! But what do they see when they get to your Facebook page? Download our free social media workbooks to get your clean up checklist, post ideas, and tracking worksheet to track your success.