I learnt most of my networking skills at a young age, as I started my first business at 18 and always loved meeting new people and going to events.
Looking back at all the jobs I’ve had, I can honestly say most of them have come from networking. Some people master networking easily, but for those who find it a little awkward and find themselves unsure of what to do, here are some of my tips for you.
Set achievable goals for the event.
Keep in mind you’re not going to be able to meet everyone, so create a shortlist of the main people you want to connect with. If you have a small hit list of who you’ll gain the most from meeting, you’ll more likely walk away from the event feeling fulfilled.
Research those people you are wanting to meet.
They will be far more inclined to continue the conversation with you and will be hopefully impressed if you comment on something recent they have done. I’m not saying go through their garbage, but a quick Google or a scan of their socials will prepare you for a better introduction.
Never spend too much time with one person or group.
While you may be having a good time, no-one likes a lingerer. You also want to use your time efficiently, so make an impression and move on. If you’ve made a proper impact, who knows, maybe the person will seek YOU out for a further chat.
Don’t forget your business card.
I can’t remember all the times I wish I had a card on me. If you don’t have a business card, make one and don’t forget to bring it to your events. Also remember to ask your contacts for theirs! Yes I know we have Instagram and Facebook and a phone for that matter, however there is something about a business card that makes it all the more legit to reach out to that contact again, and vice versa.
With all that in mind, you also don’t want to go in too forceful, remember to have fun and enjoy the night. Appreciate others’ time and advice because that is when they will want to help you.
Lisa Hyde is an ambassador, presenter and host across the fashion, travel and beauty circles and founder of Shevoke.
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