Networking is part of being in business. You have to put yourself out there and meet new people on a consistent basis. It's best to do it because you genuinely want to talk business or meet someone, and not solely for personal gain.
If you get nervous, remember how you started to interact with other kids on the playground when you were little. Bring this youthful perspective and attitude with you to your business connection events. Strike up conversations and ask questions to learn more about the other person. Start out slow and build upon your successes. See how to become a master networker with these tips.
Of course you want to remember faces too, but always put a name to the person’s looks. This is very important. It feels so good when someone you met once remembers your name and addresses you by it when they greet you. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and remember how nice it is when this happens to you. Come up with little sayings or acronyms if it makes it easier for you to recall a name that way.
Collect business cards, write down individual names or use your phone to store contacts. Using your phone is smart and easy, but you risk running into errors if you lose your data or get a virus. If this happens, call the experts who specialize in iPhone data recovery and they’ll be able to assist you.
With more of our lives lived on and through the personal data devices that we use there is an immediate need to guarantee the data stored there is recoverable. It’s easy and can be done with a few simple steps.
Don’t limit yourself to one or two events per year. Attend as many as possible and in different industries and locations. Your goal is to meet as many people as you’re able, while still maintaining composure to introduce yourself and remember names and faces.
Go to events where you’re in the audience, others where you’re mingling and if possible, some where you’re the speaker. Even if you have to volunteer your services for free at first, you will get your face and name known. Mix it up and keep it fresh so you’re sure to meet different people at each event.
Work the Room
Even if the buffet food looks good, move around and talk to individuals in all areas of the room.
Avoid sitting down in one place the entire time and expecting people to come up to you. Walk around and mingle and shake hands with new faces. Have short conversations so you can easily move around the entire space and talk to most people.
Use Social Media
Remember to use social media as a networking tool. Create a profile and connect with others who you know or have met at networking events. Join relevant groups and post blog posts showcasing your expertise. It’s a great way to keep the conversation going while you’re not at an event.
Keep up to date with the changes in social media but don't feel you have to post on them all! Well timed relevant posts on a few networks which work for you are better than a scattergun approach on dozens where you have no real connection with other users.
Meeting new people is intimidating BUT the more you practice the easier it becomes. And some of those networking contacts might even become friends!
Disclaimer: Collaborative post.