How to make every networking event count!
You’ve just received an email inviting you to the latest networking event – you know you should go, but you’ve a million other things to do plus the thought of entering a room full of people you don’t know fills you with dread.
Before you hit the delete button – remember networking is a great way to help you grow your business to the next level and find support from like-minded people.
Fiona Clark, founder of Inspired Mums, who is passionate about helping mums find fulfilling and flexible work, gives her top tips on how to make every networking event count!
• Prepare ahead
o Think of conversation starters to help break the ice
o Have flyers or business cards at the ready to hand out to everyone you meet
o Practice your elevator pitch – describe what you do in less than a minute and deliver it with impact and passion
• Go for it!
o Now is not the time to be shy and retiring! Even if you’re feeling nervous, remember to smile and put on an air of confidence as you introduce yourself to as many people as possible
o Remember networking should be a conversation, so listen as much as talk. Be curious and genuinely interested in other people – ask questions about what they do – it’s a great way of building relationships. It also takes the pressure off you to do all the talking
o First impressions count – don’t forget the importance of personal branding – look professional and smart.
• Keep focused
o Be selective about the networking events you attend. Think carefully about your target market and which events will be the most beneficial to your business.
o Once you’ve identified the best networking opportunities for you – make sure you attend them regularly so you can build strong relationships.
• Be tenacious
o If you know who else is attending an event, have a list of the top people you’d like to meet and don’t be afraid to seek them out – introduce yourself confidently and say why you wanted to meet them.
o Following up is as important as turning up! Whether it’s a potential client or someone who could refer business, remember to make contact soon after the event so you can meet up on a 1-2-1 basis or agree next steps.
Download Fiona’s FREE e-book – “For mums stuck in a career rut – 8 steps to finding work you love” TODAY. It’s packed with tips, exercises and inspiring case studies to get you out of your rut and on the way to your new career.
Fiona Clark is a qualified confidence and career coach who founded Inspired Mums to inspire women to reach their full potential at work. She is passionate about helping women find fulfilling, family friendly roles. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/inspiredmumscoaching Follow her on Twitter: @Inspired_Mums