As a newbie, the idea of networking can be daunting. Where do people start? Do you have to know someone already to have a way in? Networking can be done by anyone, but it takes a bit of thought and a few handy tips to manage it successfully. It’s all about building positive relationships with potential clients and customers while getting your brand name out there. If you want to learn how to connect with the right people as a startup, here’s what you need to know:
Stay Social Out of Hours
If you are truly dedicated to networking, then you should invest your time outside of working hours. You’ll find plenty of areas to make new connections, like the gym, social clubs, and even standing outside your kids’ school! Know exactly what to say when meeting someone so they know who you are and what your business is about. To do this, it takes being a people person, so you will want to practice being as open and warm as possible.
Use Your Office Space
When you network, use your space to invite people in for coffee and a chat. By hosting an open door, you are more likely to attract people. If you use a serviced office like Clockwise, then you will be surrounded by lots of potential clients each day, so you’ll have endless opportunities to build relationships.
Help Others Out
Networking isn’t about being selfish. While there is much to gain for you, there are also many ways for you to help others out. If you follow up with a person after networking and they ask for your help, always be ready to do so. It shows that you are a credible, friendly business, and the chances are that help will come back round to you.
Use Social Media
These days, a lot of networking takes place online, and one area that it thrives in is social media. Make accounts on all the most popular social media sites to connect with potential customers and clients. By being visible online, you attract more people to your brand.
Events are the perfect opportunity to mingle with like-minded people who might be interested in your services or at least know of others who will be. By attending as many as you can, you will soon build up a network of people and your brand will be well-known within those circles.
Up Conversational Skills
Even if you attend countless events and are a wiz on social media, you won’t get far without great conversational skills. You don’t have to be the most charming person in the room with the funniest story, but you should aim to be warm, memorable, and professional.
Always Follow Up
If you’ve made a great connection, make sure you follow up with them afterwards. It doesn’t need to be an in-depth phone call, sometimes a quick email letting them know that you enjoyed your chat is enough to get the relationship flowing.
Making connections is building the groundwork for your business’s success. By networking succesfully, you give your business the opportunity to grow.
Interesting related article: “What is Networking?”