Networking is a challenge for many entrepreneurs because the idea of introducing yourself to a room full of strangers can be intimidating. Like it or not, networking is an important part of building your business because people prefer to do business with people they know and trust. How can you overcome the awkwardness of networking and build connections into relationships? See the tips below for inspiration (and motivation)!
1. Master your pitch. You should be able to tell someone about yourself and/or your business in less than 30 seconds. Keeping it short is important as networking is about introducing yourself and building relationships, not giving a sales presentation.
2. Forget fashion rules and arrive early. When you arrive early, people won't have formed groups yet. This gives you a better chance to introduce yourself to more people in a quieter setting.
3. Ask easy questions to start a conversation. Something as simple as "what motivated you to come to this event" can open the doors to a great exchange. Remember that listening to your conversation partner is essential if you want to learn more about them (and vice versa).
4. Offer to share resources or skills. Many times entrepreneurs attend networking events because they are looking for someone to fill a lack of resources, knowledge, or funds. After the event, you can continue the sharing through online networking!
5. Leaving a lasting impression is more important than just a business card. The rule quality over quantity applies to networking too! Make sure to share your vision and share why you're passionate about your business. Doing so will produce better results that passing out your business card to every attendee without truly connecting with them.
6. Don't forget to follow up! You can reconnect with acquaintances in many different ways: an email, phone call, Tweet, or connection on mosaicHUB. Whatever method you choose, make sure to reference something you discussed and express your interest in contenting the conversation and/or relationship.