Networking is one of the hottest buzzwords in the business arena these days.
5 tricks to weaving a solid network
Any self-help guide and article you’ll read online and in books will include at least a short passage about the importance of networking and how to do it effectively.
And for good reasons, it works.
Networking may sound less sexy and sophisticated as other entrepreneurial skills that most people focus on, such as cash flow management or product development, but having the right connections can help grow your business faster and better.
Here’s five tricks to effectively network.
5. Allocate time in your busy week
As a business owner or startup founder, you have a lot on your plate, from attending meetings to brushing through dozens of earnings reports.
It’s easy to forget to talk to new people and expand your network amidst the chaotic and monotonous routine.
By deliberately setting hours of your day to speak to new people and attend seminars and meet-ups, you can squeeze in networking into the routine without affecting your ability to perform your main role and responsibilities.
Whether it’s after work or during weekends, even an hour of networking can make a substantial difference between the success and failure of your enterprise.
4. Use social Media
Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are powerful channels for finding like-minded people.
Networking through these sites is as simple as sending a friend request or clicking a “Follow” button. Of course, this isn’t enough to establish rapport with anyone.
You’ll want to follow up your requests with direct messages expressing your interests in meeting up and knowing about their business.
3. Use the comments section of websites
Focus on websites that interest you and that are related to your business arena.
Websites, such as Medium or Hacker News, for instance, focus on tech-related news and blog posts.
You can easily find and network with software engineers by commenting on their blog posts.
It is also important to understand that in order to become a global citizen in your field and build a solid network, you have to find like-minded, passionate peers that love to do the same things you do.
Comments sections are actually really useful since the people who participate in it have already been filtered out.
Only people who are really passionate about a certain subject or topic would find the time to register for an account and then comment.
2. Launch side projects
You don’t have to keep following other people on social media or stalking them in the streets.
You can easily attract people who want to network with you by launching your side projects and even possibly presenting it on stage or online.
If you are interested in drone technology, for instance, you can create YouTube videos on how to reconfigure a specific drone model.
For a software engineer, you could launch a mobile app of your own on the Android or App store.
Side projects prove to other people that you can walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.
1. Have the right approach
What makes a lasting impact in your conversations with other people is how you present yourself.
This includes being polite, listening intently, and maintaining an assertive and confident body language.
You should also maintain eye contact at all times.
Furthermore, pick your topics. Avoid going straight to talking about work.
A lot of people don’t really like talking about their work when they’re off the clock.
Instead, try to look for common interests, such as hobbies or stance on politics.
Regardless, don’t forget to prep yourself before meeting with prospective connections.
People get too focused on where and how they can find more people to build their network with that they forget how to actually retain those connections once they’re face to face with them.
Weaving a solid network of people who can help grow your business must happen organically.
You shouldn’t force people into liking you or vice versa. Only focus on people who you truly connect with.
That being said, effective networkers always try to maintain a positive relationship with anyone and everyone they meet.
What do you think? Have you tried any of these tips before? How do you approach networking? Let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below.