A Few Networking Tips For Beginners
So, you have some snazzy, new business cards and your website, email, web presence, and social media is all on point, what do you do next? Here are a few networking tips I have picked up since starting The Web Whisperer. I guess you can call it networking 101 or networking tips for beginners.
Tip #1 Find a Networking event
Finding Networking events is easy! Use https://www.eventbrite.co.uk to find networking events near you. There is a networking tab under event type. Just enter your town and navigate to networking. You should see a whole bunch of networking events to go to.
Tip #2 Show Up
This sounds so stupid, but you can’t meet, greet and sweet other business owners if you’re not there. Find out where your local networking events are and GO! Turning up is half the battle. Since I have started The Web Whisperer not so long ago, I have never met one business owner that says, “I LOVE NETWORKING”. Everyone is shy, especially new business owners who aren’t used to pushing themselves in these types of situations. You shouldn’t put off going to networking events because of networking anxiety. Feel the fear and do it anyway! GO GO GO!!
Tip #3 Be Prepared
Have your business cards at the ready, and be prepared to receive business cards. Have a special wallet or something similar to keep business cards you have been given. These are you golden tickets to make business to business contacts! If you had a nice conversation with a particular business owner or representative make a mental (or physical note) to email that individual in a few days time to let them know you were please to have met them.
Tip # 4 Honesty
If you’re feeling nervous just say! Everyone has been in your position at one time or another. It’s understandable if you’re new to feel some sort of social anxiety when they first start networking. If your stumble over your words or the words you want to say aren’t flowing, just say, “I’m sorry I am new to this whole networking thing”. In my experience it doesn’t take long for some more experienced business owner to take you under their wing. It does get easier with time.
Tip #5 Network Buddy
Find a networking buddy to go along with you so you don’t have to face it alone! If you don’t know any local people who attend networking meetings bring someone along for moral support! However, don’t use that person as a crutch; if you’re there to network you MUST put yourself out there and talk about YOUR business.
Tip #6 Wash, Rinse a Repeat
Go to as many networking events as you can! The more you go the more contacts you make to make to help gain clients. Even if it’s something you hate doing, just consider a necessary endeavour for your business!
Follow these basic networking tips for beginners to help you get the most out of every networking event.