Networking is a rite of passage for career professionals, whether employed or unemployed. One of the key things to networking is that it can widen your social capabilities, connect you with prospective clients or future employers, and can lead you to your next opportunities without even realizing it at the time! One of the most important things about networking is being prepared with ideas, topics, and even the right resources.
Here Are Some Tips That Will Help You Stand Out For All Of The Right Reasons.
1. Attend Several Networking Events A Month
I am sure you have heard many say, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” Networking is a lot like dating. In order to find a date, you need to put yourself out there. Determine where the local professional networking events are in your community. A great place to start is your local chamber of commerce, leadership organizations, and even industry-specific ones. Select a few events to attend each month and commit to them. If they are during the week, consider them a night out, and enjoy dinner with friends afterwards to collaborate. I also recommend finding a friend who will be your networking buddy and attend events with you. It can also ease up the pressure of having to talk to new people as both of you can bounce ideas off of one another during the event.
2. Don’t Leave Home Without The Business Cards
Every person you meet is an opportunity and you must be prepared. Order personalized business cards that enhance your professional appearance and never leave home without them. Make sure the card has your name, professional title (i.e. Client Relations Enthusiast) or industry (i.e. real estate), your cell phone number, email, and LinkedIn URL.
Expert Tip: Before you put your LinkedIn URL on your new personal business card, ensure that you have a customized URL.
When you attend networking events, be sure to take a business card from each person you meet and give them your business card in return. But don’t forget the most important item of business: follow-up after the event. Email them and tell them you hope to see them at the next event (which may open the door to them inviting you to an event you didn’t even know about). Join their email list and stay in touch and updated on their latest news.
3. Connect On LinkedIn After The Networking Event
Connecting in person is one thing, but connecting on LinkedIn after the networking event helps you to develop a rapport with more professionals and connect on a greater level. It also helps you stay in touch and continue to build upon the professional relationship. Share articles, comment on their posts, and continue to build a professional relationship.
Think of networking like attending a speed-dating event. Spend a few minutes getting to know the person and then move onto the next professional to maximize your networking potential. Showing effort that you want to talk to many different people will enhance your professionalism and help you expand your social reach. You will remain memorable and stand out for the right reasons.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a Work It Daily-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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