7 Tips For Networking
I’ve been looking around our area for some new networking groups. I’m happy to say connected with two of them.
It was interesting that as we talked amongst ourselves at these groups we all had the same goal in mind. Networking means we’re meeting people with a clear goal in mind. That goal is to make connections. We didn’t want to simply show up somewhere we wanted to make a difference.
During the event yesterday we were asked to stand up and talk to the person next to us about what we did. The whole room was buzzing for that short 2 to 3 minutes.
I loved it! Since there were about 20 or so people in the room you probably wouldn’t get to meet and greet all of them so this was perfect.
The event I attended was through Working Women of Tampa Bay. The Event was called “Driven To Succeed: Maximize Media Coverage”.
There were three panelists. Each had 20 minutes to give their presentation.
The event was informative and helpful in many ways.
My goal for attending was to meet other women to see how I could help them. I had several great conversations as we discussed creating videos for your websites. It was my pleasure to be able to help give suggestions on how and why to use video which is one of my areas of expertise. Quality matters. It’s not about just “getting your video up there.”
Fashion and style are a part of your brand. That’s why as an award winning Videographer and Photographer I offer style and beauty tips every Saturday on my blog to make sure that whether you are shooting video or networking your brand is represented properly.
This organization clearly knows what needs to be done to help women network.
It made me start to wonder if some businesses don’t understand what networking really means.
Networking is an ongoing process. You can’t go to just one event and think that’s going to make a difference.
Here are two reasons to network.
One is to share the wealth. That wealth is your knowledge and expertise.
The other reason has to do with reciprocating. When you do something for others it comes back to you. Helping people without expectations or obligations results in people responding back to you in like manner. This is the “power” of networking.
No doubt you are hoping to get some benefits from networking however this shouldn’t be your main focus. Think of ways you can solve other people’s problems with your knowledge and expertise. When you are able to help others they’ll be inclined to help you!
I think many times businesses don’t “get” this aspect of networking. You need to get to know people. Networking means you have to “work” long term for benefits.
It’s not enough to attend one networking group and expect results. You need to build trust, good communication and rapport. Once again this takes time.
I’ve heard people say they don’t get “anything” out of networking. What might be some reasons? Is it that they stand by the food table and never mingle? Is it because they come with a negative mindset?
What I enjoyed about both these networking groups was that it wasn’t just about connecting with each other it’s about “learning” something.
Both of the meetings I attended had presentations. Meaningful presentations. It was a half hour of networking and then about an hour of “power learning”.
See what they are doing? Giving everyone “benefits”. This encourages people to attend and get to know each other better. I think it’s a great model to follow.
I’ve heard people say they are too tired to attend these meetings. Let’s face it we are all tired but when we have something to look forward to we make that extra effort. Here are 7 tips for networking.
1. Establish the mindset of a networker.
2. Be knowledgeable about the event you are attending.
3. Prepare your introduction and elevator speech beforehand. Knowing what you are going to say will help you look and sound more confident.
4. Don’t forget your business cards and make sure they are memorable.
5. Set a goal for yourself for the event. For instance pick a number of contacts you plan making that evening.
6. Try to find out in advance who will be attending and identify who you want to meet. People appreciate it when you take the time to know who they are. Last year I attended a Twitter Meet Up. Before going I made sure I knew who the people were. When I got there I was able to seek them out and tell them something interesting I found out about them. People were very impressed that I took the time to get to know them in advance.
7. Wear professional attire to make a good first impression.
This topic has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I’ve been in business over 27 years and in that time I’ve attended hundreds of networking events. Since my goal is to empower other women ( that’s why I wrote my book: Sexy, Savvy And Successful a Woman’s Guide On How To Start A Business, Gain Financial Freedom and Buy More Shoes!) Now I’m going to empower women to be seen and heard by learning The Art Of Networking. How? By creating a course! If you would like to notified when the course is ready be sure to sign up here. You will receive an early bird discount!
Together we can move mountains!
Be Savvy And Successful!
Toni Nelson – Empowering women to be seen and heard!