How To Show Your Awesome : 5 Tips to Successful Networking

Networking.

To some, it’s an amazing opportunity to share space and ideas with intent to highlight their business and super shiny personalities – to others, it’s a chance to show our face, talk to a couple of people and make a mad dash back to our couch and pajamas! #nojudgement #beenthere

Networking for some new entrepreneurs can be challenging, not necessarily because they have difficulty engaging with others, but because they may not know how to deal with some of the variables that come with it.

Here are a few tips that are sure to help you show your awesome at your next networking event:

  1.  Find Your Networking Style 

The first thing you must do is figure out what your networking style is.  Are you a charmer – You know, the one who can flash a smile, show warmth in the eyes and get people to talk to you?  Or are you a schmoozer – The one who knows what to say and how to say it to the ‘movers & shakers’ in the room? The key to any good networking opportunity is to find your strength and move on it! Although you must maintain your ‘game face’, the key to building a successful network is authenticity.  People want to know and work with the real YOU. Don’t go in being someone you are not – that is a true recipe for disaster!

2.  Get Your Plan On! 

In order to ‘conquer’ the room, you have to think of the opportunity as a ‘meeting’ that you are leading.  This tip has helped me TREMENDOUSLY in my networking ventures, especially when I first entered the entrepreneurship ring.  Although I wasn’t super shy, I used to talk -A LOT – mostly out of nervousness.  In instances like this, a plan is golden! Practice your pitch and short introduction, as well as any other key points you want to hit.  Not in a way that sounds robotic, but in a way that lets whomever you meet know that you are proud & confident in your business – and they should be to!

3.  Do Some Research!

I have a confession.  Before I respond to any invitation or attend any function, I Google! {And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one!!} The reason being is because I like to have a clear understanding of who the function host is, as well as the attendees.  This helps me to better plan my approach to the party, even down to my wardrobe! Get ahead of the game by doing a little research beforehand so you can know where to focus your networking efforts, as well as ensure that you connect with key players for your business. This alleviates missed opportunities, as well as extends your knowledge of who’s who in the room!

4.  Rejuvenate! 

Let’s face it – networking takes a lot of energy and effort, especially when it’s not your ‘thing’.  Here’s a tip – TAKE A BREATHER!! Taking time in between conversations allows you the opportunity to gather your thoughts and ‘switch gears’ for the next interaction.  Until you are completely comfortable with the networking experience, feel free to excuse yourself to rejuvenate, so you can recoup and go at it again! Note: You should probably not get missing after EVERY conversation, but after two or three, if you need to take a moment, feel free to do so!

5.  If At First You Don’t Succeed….

The most important thing to understand about networking is that it can be overwhelming, especially your first time.  No networking experience is ‘perfect’ and you can and will make lots of mistakes {LOTS!!}. When you are in a room surrounded by people you’ve admired from afar, nerves can take over and words can leave you!  Two things to remember: 1) You deserve to be there, just as everyone else, and 2) ‘Do-over’s’ are your friend! If a situation occurred where you don’t feel your best person was represented {or if it was just a complete disaster}, give yourself a second chance! Send a personal note and/or a small peace token offering your sincerest apologies for not being on your A-game.  This allows you to not only make things right, but reconnect with the missed opportunity – Pretty clever, huh?

 

Share some of YOUR best networking tips below. I’d love to hear them! LET’S CHAT!

Ciao for now…

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