Networking is a very important aspect in marketing yourself or you professional service or business. Networking is getting out there and meeting people, making contacts, and advising prospective clients of who you are and/or your services.
To increase exposure: Attend trade shows, local business meetings, and professional organizations like (Chamber of Commerce). Get business cards from people you meet and hand your business cards out. If the purpose of your networking is to get a job, it is paramount that you go to job fairs, try to schedule information interviews and attend as many networking events as possible.
Networking is a job and it should be done consistently- you can also network at social and business events and at outdoor and family/friend's activities. Really networking can be done where ever you go. Here are some basic tips:
- Listen 80% and talk 20%, but do know how to enjoy communicating.
- Talk about common interest and show an interest in the person not just what he/she has to offer.
- Don’t be a know it all, obnoxious, pushy, annoying and for haven sake don’t pry.
- Behave according to the situation and environment; mirror guest or host’s behavior.
- Be On Time to be a part of the loop.
- Anyone helped you, send appreciation note and return a favor
- Remember contact’s name, but if you forget apologize and just admit it.
- Offer to meet for coffee and lunch.
- Follow up with people and find out how to stay in touch.
- Carry Business Cards or Resumes at all Times
- Take pride in Your Appearance and Dress appropriately.
- Greet those who you don’t know or a loner, This Just might be a good connection.
- Be professional, articulate and concise.
- Watch your manners and overall etiquette.
- Be Honest about your motives and be yourself.
- Don’t drop names of people you really don’t know or have a connection with.
- Always carry 2 pens and a breath mint.
- Develop a Sales Pitch and control your nervousness.
- Don’t Be Selfish - Be willing to offer opportunities and connection to others.