What is networking? Is the goal to make friends or to learn from competitors, or both? If you’re a business owner or an entrepreneur and these questions have been circling your head, you’re not alone! Networking can be a daunting term and learning how to do it RIGHT and with INTENTION is hard.
Before we get into the DOs and DON’Ts of networking, let’s take a look at what networking is…
Networking is the process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.
It can be difficult to strike the right balance though, there’s definitely an art to it. But don’t fret, we’ve got the DOs and DON’Ts to ensure you’re networking in a beneficial and meaningful way!
If you’re in need of advice and guidance, just ask! As long as you’re polite and honest with your motives, people will want to help.
Recognise when the other person isn’t responding in a timely manner or they’re giving blunt replies, and accept that you can’t be best friends with everyone. Remember that it’s much more productive to be selective with who you keep in your close circle.
There’s nothing worse than demanding help on YOUR terms without considering what you’re giving in return. Ask what would work best for them and be willing to adjust your plans accordingly.
If you start a conversation and get their name wrong or it’s obvious that you haven’t done your research, that relationship is never going to blossom. People will remember that encounter and it will only reflect badly on you.
BE TOO VAGUE
Saying ‘hi, I need your help with getting my brand seen’ without going into detail is pointless. Be SPECIFIC. For example, you could say ‘hi! I was hoping you could help me out with my brand’s reach, especially with my email marketing and SEO…’
TAKE MORE AND GIVE LESS
Don’t expect people to give you their valuable time and energy for nothing. Asking for a favour can sometimes work but it’s important to make sure you’re giving something in return. For example, offer them a discount on your next masterclass or help them with their brand design. It doesn’t have to be huge but it goes a long way!
How do you feel about networking? Does it come naturally to you? Let us know your thoughts by dropping us a message, we’d love to chat! @WeAreCandescent