In the world of entrepreneurs, many love the thought of networking. They are known for being outgoing and sociable, being able to start conversation with almost anyone. On the other hand, many others want to hide in a corner, hardly smile and are afraid of saying hi to strangers at an event, and call it good. Now matter what type of person you are, once you decide to become an entrepreneur, networking is a crucial element to growing your business. If you have good networking, you will be able to find potential investors, suppliers, or partners who could take your company or business idea to a level you could never reach on your own.
Since networking plays a key role to anyone’s success, it is worth to network well. Nowadays, the boom of social media has given us many platforms for effective networking, but doesn’t cover all your bases. Networking is not only about social network, but a successful network involves coming in contact with people from various circles. Personable networking is hands down the most effective.
To help you expand your network from many sources, we’ve listed here 5 inventive ways to network. These are a great start for the entrepreneur who sees networking a big challenge to overcome, as well as the entrepreneur who just needs some new ideas to spruce up their networking.
Help Without Reward
Believe it or not, giving someone a hand is the best way to get to know that person. A good way to help is to volunteer somewhere. The biggest reward for volunteering is the opportunity to know dramatically much more people. And the more enthusiasm you are to volunteer, the more they will view you as someone trying to make a difference, not someone trying to make it big. You will attract their attention.
Seek Out Meetups
Big events are a great place to network, but so are small gatherings. There are many sites on the internet where you can find events for people in your area to meet up based on their common interests. This is fantastic to meet those who are not in your social circles.
Building relationships is essential to networking, and not just formal business relationships, but the informal ones. The ones where your connections see you as a real person. Those are the ones they are going to remember, and those are the people they want to help and reach out to. Simple meetups like a cooking class, a book club, or learning a new language can be great for starting those relationships.
Besides formal business relationships, informal ones are also so essential to networking. . Simple meetups like a cooking class, a book club, or learning a new language can be great for starting those relationships.
Hold Your Own Meetups
Don’t be afraid to be proactive, come up with an idea and host your own informal meetup. One idea may be to start annual meetups or parties, such as monthly or seasonal cultural events for your community. These can be large-scale or within just a certain niche.
If you want to network with as many people as possible, hosting your own meetup is where you can excel. Do you know why ? Because the host is the one who will be known by all people attending the meetup. Some will come and talk to you. Some will ask about the next meetup. Some will approach to ask for your tip on the topic which has been discussed or which is your area. And most of them will thank you for hosting meetup. It comes down to the principle that people want to get to know you on a personal level before they do business with you. Hosting a meetup is the perfect opportunity for just that.
Put in Time Before an Event
If you are a careful person, another way for you to network well is to study the event before it takes place. You can do some some research to find who might be good to meet. Then you can introduce yourself to those people beforehand via social media platforms. Once you do this, you have the chance to reconnect with that person at the event beyond just the “So what do you do?” conversation. It will lead to a longer lasting result.
Always be honest and sincere. Saying, “I’d really like to network with you at this event,” may be too direct and not be the best approach. You could instead show your interest in their business, maybe bringing it back to yours, or praise them for their success: “You are an inspiration to me, I can’t wait for the chance to meet you this weekend.” No matter what you say, make sure it authentically shows them who you are.
Make the Meeting Something They Won’t Forget
It is best to make an impression on them so that you can still remember you after the event because they will certainly meet a lot of people. If you are not impressive, they will forget you immediately when they leave. Again, be honest and sincere. Don’t do something overly dramatic or over-the-top just to get their attention.
Simple ways to do this are to tell something interesting about yourself, something beyond your business platform, or to insert a short, relevant and personal story. Avoid starting a conversation like ‘So what do you do? I do this. What do you do?’ That’s interview, not insights. It’s not connecting.”
Connecting is your goal when it comes to networking, so be you. Don’t force a fake persona just to get more contacts, but find those people who you are naturally drawn to and who are naturally drawn to you.
Nguyen Long Son
Unlimited Lifestyle Project