Networking can be a scary word, but it’s one of the most important skills to have. In order to excel in any career or field of interest, you’ll need to navigate your own networking strategy. Just like everyone else, I found the networking game to be intimidating because I never wanted to feel like I was asking people for favors. As my career has taken off, I’ve learned that the result of this skill has given me amazing results. If you’re trying to get to know people in your own field and make longlasting connections, here are a few tips to help amp up your networking game.
Don’t Overthink It
One of the main things to remember is that you’re just trying to make connections, and you’re not asking people for favors. Whether it’s through your friends or coworkers, don’t feel guilty about asking them to put you in touch with someone who has great advice to offer. Don’t overthink it to the point where you’re holding yourself back from reaching out to or meeting anyone at all. On the other hand, you still don’t want to be the person who’s always reaching out to people you haven’t spoken to in ages. Be gentle with your approach.
Own Your Skillset
Everyone is good at something, even if they can’t admit it yet. Whether it’s technical skills or good listening skills, you need to own that skillset. Whenever you’re in a proper networking setting, you’ll want to highlight and share these skills with whoever you meet and connect with. For example, if a blogger just landed their first campaign with a brand, they can use that information and share it with others to spread the word. In turn, they’ll likely get more campaigns and sponsorships since others know that brands want to work with this blogger.
The worst thing you could do is come off as being disinterested in what someone’s saying. When it comes to networking, your body language and the way you present yourself is everything. When listening to others, keep a smile on and nod your head to show that you’re actually listening to what they’re saying. Relaxing your body will also make you look more approachable because your stance isn’t intimidating.
Be A Good Listener
To follow up on the above, you shouldn’t just look like you’re listening to someone, you should actually listen. Gather any information or advice they’re sharing and ask any appropriate questions. This will only help you further continue this conversation and make that person want to keep in touch with you. Good listeners leave a good lasting impression.
Keep In Touch
With that being said, if someone wants to keep in touch with you, then you need to take advantage of it. Follow up with an email about how great it was meeting them, and maybe set up a coffee or lunch to show that you want to continue this relationship. Only good things can happen from this point forward!