Networking. Sometimes that can be a scary word. But it is always beneficial. Here are a few ways you can jump out of your comfort zone and into the world of networking.
1. Business cards and headshots. This is an easy first step. Do you have a business card you are proud of? What about a head shot? Get those two things in order ASAP and you are on your way.
2. Starting a conversation. Easier said than done right? Standing in line alone? Talk to the person next to you? You never know if they could be someone who could be a friend, a client or a potential partnership. Putting yourself out there in a comfortable setting can be a good jumping off point.
3. Connecting on social media. Another easy one. You don’t have to be face to face with a person, but you can work on your vocabulary and approach. Share articles, tips and tricks to other like minded people. Get a name for yourself online and build your confidence in what you can produce. People will likely engage and you can eventually meet up and chat in person.
4. Finding a local group that fits your niche. Every big city has networking events, groups and clubs. Find one in your city and get out there with you business cards and start talking.
5. Conferences. Nailed down the small group situation? Now it is time to go to the all star level of networking, the conference. Keep those business cards handy but don’t let it be the first thing you say to people. Start a conversation, grow a connection and if you feel like you could be a good fit as a client, partnership or friend even, then pass along your information to stay in touch. Ask for their’s as well and follow up after the conference. Building relationships with people is the art of networking.
Where do you go to network? Do you have favorite groups that you attend, weekly or monthly? What about your favorite conferences? Share those in the comments below and lets create a great resource together.