Since Le Prix started 5 years ago, I have become a seasoned networker. I’ve had a handful of people tell me they are looking to grow their network, or are not happy with their current life path and are exploring other options. So I thought I would pull together the top networking tips I’ve gathered over the years.
1. Have a Purpose
I used to go into networking events trying to meet as many people as I could, and I would leave totally exhausted. Figure out why you’re there, observe people, and chat mindfully trying to make a few genuine connetions.
2. Bring Business/Peronsal Information Cards
It’s funny how often I’ve come across people who forget to bring cards. After running out of business cards a few too many times myself, always be sure to bring extras as a back up. Don’t have any cards? Get great and affordable ones at Vistaprint.
3. Not all Networking Events Are Equal
There are so many types and styles of networking events. There are the formal, big events where you can push your cards and low key events over drinks. But over time I found I am a fan of laid back and intimate ‘networking’ events that feel more like a meet-up. If one type doesn’t feel like it suits you, make the effort to get out again and try another kind.
4. Get Social
You know, if you break your routine and go out to places you haven’t been, you’re bound to meet new people. This is what networking is all about. It isn’t just to find your next job or immediate sale. I read an article that said you’re more likely to get a job from an acquaintance, not a bestie anyway. Don’t agree? Google “most likely to get a job from an acquaintance” and see for yourself.
5. Be Yourself
I feel like this goes without saying, but if you’re trying to appear super high-energy, or fake, people will either see right through you, or they will have unrealistic expectations of you that you can’t fulfill long-term. You’re going to connect with people best when you are your true self. As you start to get involved in networking, you start to gain mutual connections with people in your community. It’s a small place if you are not nice, or are inauthentic.
6. Help Others
People like people who are nice, offer help, and are genuine. People also enjoy helping people they like. If I have something to offer someone I’ve recently met, I am glad to give them a leg up or connect them. We should be happy to lift others up, becasue in turn, we lift ourselves up. The world needs encouragers more than critics. Ever heard of good karma?
7. Introduce Yourself
All it takes is for you to walk up to someone, put out your hand and say “Hi, I don’t think we’ve met, I’m your name here.” Then ask what brings them to the event, or what they do…. anything really. It’s easer if you go over to someone and introduce yourself, rather than feeling awkward waiting for someone else to come talk to you. Everyone has something special to offer, which means so do you.
Most of all, treat people like friends and have fun. Please feel free to comment below if you have any favourite tips.