Networking sometimes has a icky feel to it. Maybe it’s just too uncomfortable and awkward to engage in it.
But I firmly believe knowing how to network can make a huge difference to your career and life. Often, the people you know and develop relationships with are the key to the projects you take on.
It’s how you grow and open your eyes. Being a 20-something myself, I want to share some easy ways that might help you to pull yourself out of the comfort zone.
When you’re at events geared toward networking, be yourself. Be sincere. This doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable experience.
Do what you feel comfortable with. Just like you wouldn’t want anyone to bombard questions or sound one dimensional, you want to make sure you come across to others exactly the way you would want to be approached yourself.
Networking is mostly about conversing and finding a natural flow of energy back and forth between you and the person. When you two click, chances are it will open the door to building a relationship. And this is what can lead to opportunities.
Engage on Social Media
If the idea of mingling in person scares you, then you can try another approach. You can find people on Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram and send them a friendly note or like or comment on their updates.
Ask Friends/Contacts to Introduce You to People
You can always talk to your friends and contacts in the business you are looking to grow in and ask them to refer or introduce you to people.
Usually, having someone else who knows the person you would like to grow a relationship with helps to ease you and creates a more natural, easygoing interaction.
Join Meet Ups
Interestingly, I have met several wonderful people at Meet Ups. While I was writing my novel Enchanted Silence, I joined Meet Up groups where I met fellow writers.
Last year, I had joined a marketing Meet Up and met interesting people who I became friends with and built relationships with. We worked with each other on guest blogging and driving more traffic to our websites. It was a win-win for everyone involved!
Sometimes, the best way you can connect with people is when you go out to a bar or restaurant or some party/get together to hang out and relax together.
It’s more fun and easier to learn more about one another in casual, comfortable environments!
What are your thoughts on this post? Please share with me in the comments.