7 WAYS TO NETWORK MORE EFFECTIVELY
By Amy Sundell
Networking. Some people cringe when they hear the word. Others may associate it with being overly pushy. At the end of the day, networking is a two-way street. It’s about building relationships that may turn out to be mutually beneficial in the long run.
Effective networkers demonstrate a sincere interest in their connections and work hard to cultivate a relationship, establish their credibility and share their expertise. To become a successful networker, you should follow the belief that everyone has something to offer and gain.
Here are a few more networking tips we think you might find helpful:
1. There are opportunities to network everywhere.
Every interaction is an opportunity to network or practice networking. Don’t overlook the connections you can make at your favorite local spots to hang out or organizations with which you’re involved.
2. Nothing beats in-person networking.
A professional networking event, such as Greater Lafayette Commerce’s Connectors or Rise & Shine, is a great place to present yourself, make new connections, find new customers or referrals, and even find yourself a new job or employee.
3. Intentionally sit with people you don’t know.
It gets easier the more you do it – promise!
4. Ask thoughtful questions.
Make sure you are not doing all the talking. Ask open-ended questions, which prompt the beginning of a longer conversation. Remember, networking isn’t just about making contacts – it’s about building relationships, so listen carefully. People want to know that you heard and appreciate what they have to say.
5. Follow up quickly.
After meeting someone, follow up with them quickly while the interaction is still fresh in both of your minds. For future touchpoints, it’s much easier to reference an email thread than to try to find a business card.
6. Keep in touch and keep networking!
Your network is a living breathing thing and should always be evolving. While it’s important to get to know new faces in the room, you also want to make sure you’re spending time fostering and nurturing existing connections.
7. Don’t discount your online presence.
A digital presence that truly represents and reflects who you are can be incredibly effective. Keep your online profiles, such as LinkedIn, polished and up to date. List your relevant qualifications, experience, and accomplishments in your profile, and upload a professional profile photo. You don’t need a long profile to be successful.
These seven basic tips will help you network effectively. To learn more about ways to get involved with Greater Lafayette Commerce, please visit business.greaterlafayettecommerce.com/events