The need for networking skills is often considered when people have to switch jobs or be in a position to grab any opportunity assisting in taking their career forward. Or, let’s say, people, network for exposure, knowledge sharing, staying in the loop as to what’s in trend and upgrade the necessary skills their industry demands. The gist of it, however, lies in increasing your credibility, worth, goodwill of the firm you work in, et al. Surprisingly, it doesn’t cost a thing. We don’t live in a world which constrains us geographically or socially, yet most fail at embracing strong business networking skills. Earning a reputation and yielding long-term benefits takes time – networking is a life skill, you need to be persistent, and your perseverance carries the potential of growing your circle of influence. So, how do you do it?
1. Start from your home
Hesitation holds you back often to strike a conversation, whether it is on social or at a conference. So, start with the people you know, your relatives who have contacts in your business line, your colleagues – it can be a reasonably good start because you have them to back you up and add to your credibility.
2. Initiate conversations
How do you stay up-to-date? Pursue professional courses, watch videos, read blogs online, or along with all that in play, you can converse with people. It gives you a broader perspective, a better insight of the industry from related people, and experience too. You either live ten years or talk to a person with 10 years of experience and live twenty. Not good at it? Be there early! In this way, you won’t have to walk into a room full of people, already engaged in their talks. Also, you can always look for opportunities where you can become a part of the conversations, and you don’t have to be smart to do that – extend your hand, smile, and introduce yourself.
3. Don’t try to steal the spotlight
Networking is not about taking the spotlight; the most effective business people work on the sidelines. Instead, work on your gestures, the way you talk, your smile, and some charisma. Your objective is not to create influence in the current circle but out amongst the enviable leaders of the industry, making yourself visible, and knowing more about opportunities are hidden from your sight.
4. Connect with people on Social Media Platforms
You can’t be present everywhere physically and neither you can know about every event which is happening around you and everyone who’s going to be present there. But, social media has evolved, there are platforms like LinkedIn where you can connect, communicate, and contact them whenever you want. Once your social background strengthens, you start getting invites of events, from people of your industry, and before you know, you’ll find yourself standing in the right event with the right set of people.
5. Find your purpose
Every event has its importance, every person you meet knows something you don’t, but you can’t be everywhere or be connected to every network present in this sphere. You need to set a goal, what are you looking for? Business opportunities, exposure, a new job, and then prepare a pitch. Your first impression will last longer than you anticipate; your elevator pitch should preferably include a point which extracts valuable information from the other. It needs to be intriguing so that it doesn’t only ignite a conversation acting as an ice-breaker but also gives them a chance to talk about their work and remembering “you” as someone who showed interest in their work.
Two minds are better than one, and there’s no substitute for hard work. To build strong business networking skills, you are required to step out of a zone (your comfort zone) and once you do that – all it needs is adapting the changes on the go, rest all falls in place with time, of course.