10 Networking Strategies You Need To Start Using Today
With the growing popularity of online networking, it can be easy to forget the value of making in-person connections. Whether you're trying to develop your personal career or build connections to help your business, there is still something invaluable about face-to-face networking. With the right attitude and preparation, you'll be ready to make the most of any face-to-face networking opportunity.
Although networking isn't always easy, it doesn't have to be difficult either. In fact, with the right strategies, networking can be an exciting, rewarding experience that can open doors to incredible opportunities. In this blog, you'll learn 10 networking strategies you need to start using today to make the most of your networking efforts. These strategies will help you take the lead in those uncomfortable networking situations, so you can make the most of every opportunity to create meaningful connections.
1. Network before an event.
Attending a networking event can be a great way to make valuable connections and build professional relationships. However, networking doesn’t just start when you walk into the event; it should begin before you even arrive. By networking beforehand, you can maximize the effectiveness of the event and make sure that you get the most out of your experience. Before the event, you can reach out to people who are attending and introduce yourself. This will help you build relationships before the event and give you the opportunity to connect with people you would like to meet.
You can also research the event and see who is attending and what their professional interests are. This will help you to be better prepared and give you ideas for conversation starters. Additionally, you can reach out to the event organizers and find out more about the event and what to expect. By networking before the event, you can ensure that you make the most of the opportunity and make valuable connections. You can also showcase your professionalism to other attendees and give yourself a competitive edge. So, make sure you network before attending a networking event and maximize the effectiveness of your experience.
2. Come prepared with a clearly defined goal in mind.
The next time you attend an event, take the time to consider who you want to meet and why. Event registration sites often list all of the attendees, so take a moment to scan the guest list. You could find potential clients, mentors, or even potential employees that you want to connect with.
For example, if you are the CMO of a successful law firm, and you want to leave the event with ten leads, having a specific goal in mind will keep you focused. It will also allow you to have more meaningful conversations with your new connections and make it easier to align your goals. Knowing who you want to meet and why can make all the difference when it comes to networking at events. So, make sure to take the time to think strategically before attending your next event.
3. Have conversation starters to break the ice.
Making a great first impression at a networking event can be intimidating. To make sure you start off on the right foot, take a few moments to prepare ahead of time. Consider what topics you're interested in discussing, and make sure to brush up on the latest industry news and trends. This will help you to spark engaging conversations with people you meet. When you arrive, look for someone who is also solo and looking for someone to talk to.
Begin by introducing yourself and asking questions like:
What do you do for work?
What brought you to this event?
Are you familiar with any of the speakers?