3 Networking Tricks that Don't Depend on Shaking Hands
Less stressful ways to connect with people
3.5 minute reading time
Networking is vitally important to the growth and success of our businesses. But since not everyone is comfortable networking or has a flair for it, here are three ways to “fake it till you make it.”
Do those things you love
Being generally social is a great way to make connections outside of a professional setting. Take a class, join a book club, or sign up for golf lessons – wherever your natural interests lie.
During that time, talk to the person next to you. Make a connection. Let one thing lead to another and before you know it, mentioning your custom tie business will remind John Doe that he is looking for ties for his bridal party. Boom! Networking!
Don’t stress out and try leading the conversation. Just be yourself, the person so proud of their business.
Volunteer where your heart is
Getting involved with a non-profit or a charity has the double benefits of networking opportunities for your business as well as doing good for your community. Maybe you can find a non-profit organization or charity to get behind that is somehow related to your business, but just find choose something that you are passionate about. Either way, you’ll be meeting and making connections with new people.
Yes, this is different from a one night, three hour long mixer event. It’s a relationship with an organization and people that you will building over time. And honestly, this kind of connection is so much more meaningful.
While you will naturally want to keep focused on the cause, be open to marketing possibilities. Non-profits are usually happy to spread the word about the people who are supporting them.
Launch Your Own Networking Group
Strangely enough, it can be less intimidating to host your own group rather than walk into a room of strangers. Having a purpose and looking out for the newbies makes all the difference.
Try starting a group online, especially in our current situation, to get the conversation going. You can always open it up to an in-person event if it makes sense. Decide what kind of group you want it to be, name it, and extend invitations to like-minded folks. There are plenty of tools these days to make the process easy.
While there is certainly a place for the usual networking event, sometimes thinking outside the box allows us to meet a different group of people and forge more relevant relationships. Business connections can be made anywhere we go. We just have to remember to open our eyes – and our mouth – so we don’t miss the opportunities.
Once you have made a connection, your new friend will want to learn more. That’s when having an up-to-date website and social media presence is important. If you need a little help sprucing up how your business looks online, just give us a call to talk over the options.
This article is an update to “3 New Ways to Network” dated 1/29/2014.
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels