Networking (The Human Kind)

January 26, 2016

Reaching out to others in the various ways available is the starting point for making relationships- aka networking. Networking is passing along information to those who most likely will use your products or services, or contact you in the future for some need. Networking can be a simple, cost-effective, and sometimes free way of advertising as a means of getting the word out about your business.

You might have networked already without realizing it. Ever been approached at a gas station for help? How about holding chit chat in a bank line? Even conversations with family and friends can spread information about business and recommendations to help others.

Sounds easy, right? If networking was so easy then I’d have over a million subscribers at X social medium. For most, networking is a scary proposition. Meeting new people is tough but there are ways to ease the tension while developing new relationships.

To start, here are a few ways to reduce networking anxiety from JetMag:

+ Know where you are going

+ Practice your pitch; also called 30-second elevator pitch

+ Learn to relax

+ Know your anxiety triggers

+ Believe in yourself

Here are some ways to network:

So, how does one network more effectively? According to Drew Hendricks with Forbes, one needs to network and it doesn’t have to be only the exchange of business cards. Networking can be fun by just going to new events. Here are six ways to be a more effective networker by Hendricks.

+ Networking is a two-way street: both sides learn about each other

+ Evaluate your contacts: meeting with all contacts is tough so prioritize; can you help each other

+ Meet and mingle: try new things, go to fundraisers, have special events, and try social media

+ Always get a second meeting

+ Spend time social networking

+ Nurture and maintain strategic relationships: spend the most time with the top 5 or 10

Good luck in your networking endeavors!


Photo courtesy of Minority Business Development Agency)

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