With the advent of social media, a lot of people no longer see the need to see themselves physically anymore because they can always engage with each other via chats, skyping and other forms. While social media is a great tool for building and maintaining relationships, nothing beats face to face networking. So, the most effective networking approach is a combination of the two, i.e one part online and the other part face to face.
There are usually places and events you go to, or get invited to which will make you meet with people that can be of great benefit to you as a person, or your career.
For some people, it could be a bit intimidating, for people who are not, there is still the need to go with your best foot forward. These tips below are designed to assist you to be on top of your game at these events
A little Research
It doesn’t hurt to prepare yourself for the event you are going to by finding out some basic information about the event, the aim, the cause, the people behind it… Nothing complicated, just some little tit bits that may help you get into the appropriate mindframe.
Commit to Helping Others
Be in your positive helpful nature. Do not think it is about getting new jobs or new clients. Even if its some advice about a particular gadget or a restaurant recommendation , be sure to pass this along when there is the need for it. This will make you more human and people will want to help you in return.
Make an Introduction
If you introduce 2 people and they hit off, they will always be grateful to you and people who you have introduced to someone else are most likely to return the favour.
Connect with People over their families
The easiest way to a networking partner is through their immediate family members. At networking events , people talk about work in industry related subjects, you can distinguish yourself by talking about their spouse or family if you get the opportunity to do so. They will warm up to you and get more familiar.
If you are shy or introverted, focus on others
You don’t have to be a good conversationalist, people love talking about themselves, if you ask a lot of questions and take a lot of interest in them, they will enjoy talking about themselves to a captive audience. They will enjoy talking to you.
People spend too much time trying to meet new people and too little time following up with and nurturing relationships with people they already know. This in turn will lead to meeting new people because people who you already know are more likely to be a gateway for you to their friends and more connections.
So be sure to spend time and energy networking with people who are already in your network.