The ability to network effectively can greatly increase the success of your business by getting your name out there in a positive way, building your credibility and assist in growing your customer base. Networking done poorly can seem pushy or overbearing but when done well it is a two-way street. Putting yourself out there can help you get to know someone better, find ways in which they might be able to assist you and how you can help them in return.
Know what you have to offer:
Networking can be especially hard if you aren’t aware of the unique skills you have to offer. Think about all of your accomplishments and assess what helped you to achieve them. These are all skills that other people may find valuable. Make it your goal to have an open and friendly approach when presenting yourself to new people and business opportunities.
A big mistake people often make when networking is being inauthentic. If you are speaking with someone about a topic you don’t understand, avoid acting like you know everything just to keep up. Instead, ask questions and take the opportunity to learn from others. When the opportunity arises, talk about topics you are passionate about and interested in, not just topics you think people want to hear about.
Once you’ve met someone you think can help to improve your business ventures and experiences, make sure to follow up with them. Something as simple as sending an email saying you enjoyed your conversation with them and would like to stay in contact is all it takes to make a new business connection. You should always thank a person for the information they have given and see if you can help them in any way, as this will ensure a positive relationship going forward.