5 Steps to Becoming a Networking Superstar
They say that it’s not what you know but who you know. While it is exceptionally important to have the right skills and experience for your desired job it is also important to cultivate networking skills to meet people within your industry and set yourself apart from your competition.
However, it is also essential to do networking the right way. Getting out and meeting everyone isn’t always the most advantageous strategy. When networking for your next job or simply within your industry you need to make sure that you are making meaningful connections with the right people. Here are some networking tips to get you started.
- Create a plan: When you go to an industry event you want to do your research ahead of time. Are there individuals or companies who will be there that are most important to your ultimate goals. Make a plan to meet those people, exchange contact information, and follow up properly.
- Be interesting and engaging: Answering questions is fine and will ultimately accomplish the task of conveying answers to the asker, but it won’t make them remember you. Instead, tell a story. Stories engage our brains on a deeper level. Work on your storytelling art so you don’t find yourself dragging out a conversation for the sake of your audience. Do the same when asking questions and use open ended conversation starters instead.
- Go it alone: It may be tempting to ask a friend to join you at a networking event but don’t give into this urge. Even if you’re shy you really need to focus on talking to people you don’t know rather than defaulting to the people you do. Taking a friend with you can be an immediate barrier to meeting others who can help you in your career.
- Be helpful: Of course your primary goal when it comes to networking is to make contacts with leaders in your industry who can help you with your next career move, but that isn’t the only way to make connections. People remember others who were helpful to them as well. Use this opportunity to let them know how you can be of service to them.
- Follow up: The number one mistake job seekers make when it comes to networking is forgetting to follow up. This is an essential step and the only way to ensure that the person at the other end of the conversation remembers you. Make sure you collect contact information when you’re at the event or in a social situation and write an email the next day reminding them of your discussion.
Are you looking for more networking advice? VincentBenjamin can help today!