If you have a small business and are looking to grow your client or customer base then online promoting and marketing is important, but so is face to face networking. However, for a lot of people this can be TERRIFYING!!!!
If I’m being completely honest here, the first time I went to a networking event I was absolutely dreading it! The thought of standing up in a room full of strangers and delivering my ‘pitch’ filled me with dread. In the end, it wasn’t that bad and I actually ended up enjoying it, and have not worried about going to any other events since.
Here are my top 5 tips on how to network successfully
- At most networking events you will get the opportunity to stand up in the room and tell everyone about yourself. Find out before hand how long this will be (60 seconds, 3 minutes etc) and make sure you are comfortable with what you want to say in that time slot.
- Arrive early, grab yourself a drink and a seat and make sure you are comfortable with your surroundings. DON’T sit there by yourself…..
- Walk around the room and find someone you think looks approachable to chat with (maybe someone else who is on their own – it could be their first time too!)
- In both your pitch and when chatting don’t just sell sell sell. People will be put off if they think you are only there to benefit yourself. Show how you can help others and they will help you.
- Follow up with people you have spoken with or swapped business cards with as soon as you can to continue building that relationship and make sure you don’t slip out of peoples minds!
Most importantly – be relaxed, be yourself, smile and chat!