We have a special guest coming this night! Meet the awesome Sara Coolidge, master networking expert.
Sandy and Sara are collaborating on a fun and engaging networking event for the first month of the year. Marry the best of in person and online social networking for the best results in 2019.
❤️Lets get together at The Innovation Center in Reno and learn some the best of in person and online social networking strategies that get BIG RESULTS!❤️
How to enjoy networking!
As someone who has run a Networking Meetup for over four years, I understand a lot about the value of networking. Most of the people I talk with understand that they can benefit from networking, but a lot of them don’t really want to do it, or don’t enjoy it when they do. They often complain that networking feels fake, contrived and shameless, and they don’t like feeling that way.
If this is you, read on! Networking does not have to be uncomfortable or unproductive, even for someone who would rather stay home than socialize. A good first step into being willing and able to get out there and network is to remember the value in it.
So, why should you network? In my nutshell, networking effectively will grow the number of people you are connected to that understand something about who you are and what you are up to, and have given you permission to contact them in the future. This can be the beginning of any number of different kinds of relationships:
- Mentors: finding someone who has been where you want to go and can explain the journey to you.
- Friends/social support: meeting others with similar interests who you can socialize with.
- Customers: finding another person who will become a customer of yours or someone who has a product that you want to own.
- Peer support and education: learn from others in your field or another area of interest.
- Collaboration/partnerships: connecting with someone who could become a partner in a project or event with you.
- Referrals: meeting people who will refer you to their network for business or social purposes or who will scout for connections for you.
The fact is, whenever you meet someone, there is the potential for you to develop any or all of these kinds of relationships. You won’t know what it will be when you start out, but if you stay confident in the value of networking, and give it some time, the answer will become clear.
Here are some of my other tips on getting the most out of your next networking adventure:
- Understand what kind of networking event you are attending. If this is a speed-networking evening, you will need to be ready to talk quickly and to the point with people and move on. If it is a more relaxed gathering, you will want to be able to spend more time chatting with the people you meet. Find out which one and plan your message accordingly.
- Speaking of messages, what’s yours? Every networking adventure should begin with some self-inquiry. What exactly would be the best connection for you to make today? Take a moment to think about what you would like have show up next in your business or project and structure your message accordingly. This means you might have a unique message for each event you attend.
- Begin from your heart and be willing to share. There is a reason that all of the people who are in this room with you showed up at the same time: You are in this together! Make it your goal to create connections and value for all the attendees. When you see it from this perspective, your nervousness and discomfort fades away. In fact, lots of studies show that when people work together on a task (like making sure that everyone in the room gets a chance to talk) those people will all form longer-lasting, more collaborative relationships. Sounds like a great network to me!
- Be confident that you have something to offer. A lot of people are uncomfortable networking because they believe that they don’t have enough connections or influence to be of much usefulness to others. This is simply not true. When you listen with curiosity to others’ needs you will be able to bring your own unique experiences, vantage point and insight to bear in a way that will give great value. Trust that and networking will become more about supporting others and less about self-promotion for you.
- Develop a great mindset about networking. Instead of dreading it because you think you might be bored, uncomfortable or awkward, change the way you think about it. You can just as easily think of more pleasant possibilities: You might just have some fun, meet some interesting people and get some new ideas. It is all up to you and how you approach it.
- Remember the nutshell: networking is about meeting new people and getting permission to follow-up with them. That’s it. Do not see it as a time to do a sales presentation or pitch someone to hire you for a new job. Those conversations, if they are to happen at all, will go better later, after you have begun your relationship in a respectful, productive way. Your first step is to ensure that they enjoyed meeting you.
Once you apply these tips and take charge of your next networking adventure with a clear message and a great mindset, you are likely to come home with some great new connections with people who really understand you and want to support you.
Now, the next step is to follow-up!
In person networking is a fantastic way to grow meaningful connections with potential clients. How can you integrate real world networking with online social networking?
Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and others has opened the doors for opportunities to massively grow your connections.
If done correctly and working with in the guidelines and rules these social media giants require, you can achieve a fare amount of connections for the time and money.
Learn in a fun and engaging way how your business can leverage smart social networking strategies to increase sales in your organization.
Sandy Rowley is a leading social networking marketing expert located in Reno Nv. She is the creator of the popular Reno Networking Group on Meetup.com and an Award Winning Web Designer.