In this industry, it’s not necessarily about who you know, but who knows you. Aside from hard work, networking and forming meaningful relationships are the catalysts for success. In order to continuously succeed, it is crucial to consistently cultivate new and engaging relationships that will ultimately leverage your network and enable you to reach quality prospects.
Social networking is of course essential, but it does not replace traditional face to face interactions, which is key to effectively marketing yourself and your brand. When done tactfully, networking can open many doors and lead to an abundance of opportunities.
Here are a few tips for you to master the art of networking so you can leave an enduring impression on the people you meet!
CRAFT A SOLID ELEVATOR PITCH
You want to successfully sell yourself and your services in a concise manner by summarizing your qualities. The objective is to establish a clear, positive, and longstanding impression through succinct articulation of your goals and what you do. You never know who you’re going to bump into, so it’s useful to have this short, pre-prepared speech handy!
BRING BUSINESS CARDS EVERYWHERE YOU GO
A means for identifying yourself and substantiating your role, business cards support your networking experience. You want to further hone in on the interest people already have you by making yourself easily accessible. Make the effort to tastefully design your personal business cards. A good tip is to incorporate a machine-readable QR code that instantly connects to your linked in or personal portfolio!
Check out Zazzle, Vista Print, Moo to customize your very own business cards.
Inject positivity into every interaction you have and always keep it professional. Yes, have the utmost amount of confidence, but don’t feel the need to overcompensate yourself in an effort to portray yourself as more important than you really are. The objective is to gain mentors, prospects, and ultimately respect.
RECIPROCATION & COMMON GROUND
In order to foster a purposeful relationship, it is imperative to show just as much interest in your prospect’s business as your own. It’s tempting to do all the talking, but allocate time to ask questions relevant to their fields and interests in order to seek common ground. Quality networking is when two parties can mutually benefit and exchange resources.
ALWAYS FOLLOW UP
After establishing a connection with a notable prospect, be sure to follow up with an email to express gratitude and how you can be a great resource in the future. In order for the connection to be impactful, it’s important to maintain contact by periodically checking in. You are ahead of the game if you put forth the time and effort to personalize your connections.