Networking is vital for establishing professional relationships and meeting professionals from your industry. Networking is so important that everybody is doing it. If you didn’t know that, you’re probably way behind on building your contacts list.
For eager professionals and those looking to expand their digital Rolodex, this guide will explain the tips on how to be better at networking. But before we begin, you must understand that networking is an ongoing process. There is no final destination, meaning you never stop networking.
You must be dedicated, passionate, and hardworking to network as a pro. So, without wasting too much time, let’s start with the tips.
Meet People Through People
Social gatherings are an excellent way to meet new people. We can apply the same logic when looking at networking. But instead of social gatherings in the form of parties, you will attend professional events. If there’s a particular event where there will be people you know, chances are some of your friends will know others. Your goal is to meet these people and get to know them.
Not only will you meet a new individual, but you will also have a common friend to introduce you to. This is the most accessible form of networking. You do not have to do anything but mention the chances of meeting their friends to your friend. Sooner or later, you’ll be discussing work-related stuff and exchanging contact information.
Don’t Sleep on Social Media
Social media is one of the most widely-used networking tools by professionals and newbies. You might not know, but you’re already networking as we speak. Every new follow, subscribe, like, and comment you leave on people’s posts is a form of interaction.
Interactions are necessary to network online. It’s vital to interact with people if you want to know more about them. And if you’re going to network online, social media is the place to do it.
All it takes is to follow someone, drop a DM, or leave a comment on one of their posts. Then, follow it up with another round of interactions and propose the chance of meeting in person.
While this sounds simple enough, not everyone is open to the idea of meeting in person. Maybe they’re shy, or maybe you’re low on self-confidence. Interacting behind a screen removes the pressure, but you must improve your self-confidence to be a networking pro.
However, that’s precisely why online networking is so popular nowadays.
But regardless of what form of networking you choose to follow, it’s vital to do it. And there’s no better way to network online than by leveraging social media.
Improve Your Body Language
While we can talk endlessly about the places to meet professionals or how social media can be used to your advantage, being better at networking means being open to the idea of meeting new people.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Some network because they must, not because they love it. Not every person is full of confidence; some are extroverts and see social gatherings as potential panic attacks. They dread meeting new people because they’re too shy to approach anyone. But improving your body language can compensate for your lack of confidence.
To understand how your body language helps you with social interactions, you must look at yourself in the mirror. Do you feel weird or awkward when pitching your speech in front of the mirror? If so, you have to start working on your body language.
For starters, you need to put on a happy face. No one wants to converse with a person that gives out negative energy. So like it or not, smile all the way.
The next thing to do is use all kinds of universal signs that tell the other person you’re listening to and want to know more about the subject of the conversation. And so it happens that there is one such universal sign. That sign is called the “head tilt.” When you tilt your head to one side, you show the other person that you’re paying attention.
Improving your social skills and body language is one way to present yourself in a better light and compensate for your lack of confidence and shyness.
Stay in Touch
The biggest networking mistake is meeting someone and never contacting them again. If you’re looking to get better at networking, you must maintain relationships with the people you meet.
That means getting together for a cup of coffee now and then. Remember when we said that networking is an ongoing process that never stops. So if you met someone online, drop a DM to follow up on your initial conversation.
Improving networking will help you land more contacts and meet more professionals from your industry. With these contacts in your digital Rolodex, you get access to expert opinions and assistance on a wide range of topics. That’s the power of networking. And that’s precisely why everyone should do it.
So what are you waiting for? Start networking and start reaping the benefits of your hard work.