How to Network: 6 Tips to be Effective
Networking is huge in the business world; especially in recruiting. But, if you’re not that savvy, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. So, we’ve compiled a few of our best tips to help turn you into a pro. Here are six tips to help you network effectively.
When you first decide to start networking, the biggest question will be where to begin. Obviously huge conferences and such are appealing since there will be a wealth of professionals in your industry there. But, instead of jumping in head first into the deep end, try wading in the shallow end for a bit. Look to your colleagues and friends in the industry. Find an event on a smaller scale and ask if you can tag along with them or ask to be introduced to others. Also set up profile on a couple of social media sites, especially LinkedIn.
There’s a reason people press so much on first impressions. And being ill prepared won’t leave the kind of lasting impression you want. Invest in some good business cards and take them everywhere you go. Also make sure they are easily accessible and in good shape.
Networking often gets a back reputation because of the feeling that it’s necessary to schmooze, but most people can see right through that kind of thing. Be sure to present yourself and your brand for who/what it is. As a result, you’ll sell yourself without really trying and that comes across as far more genuine.
When it comes to networking, a lot of people are game; especially in this day and age with the evolution of social media. Chances are, you’re not going to get rejected. But, even if you do, what’s the big deal?
The whole point of networking is the establish relationships. You can’t do that if all you have is a stack of business cards from people you haven’t spoken with in months. After the initial introduction, take a moment to send a quick email and maybe even suggest a meeting over coffee.
Quality over quantity
The most significant aspect of networking is to establish relationships that are beneficial. So, just like the old saying goes — it’s better to make one or two really great connections than to have hundreds of contacts that you’ll probably never speak to again.