How to network effectively
Effective networking is a must for those looking to boost awareness, meet new people and create new relationships and leads. In fact, according to a LinkedIn global survey, almost 80 percent of professionals consider networking to be crucial for career success.
Luckily for us, there are loads of events to take advantage of. However, this level of choice may create the temptation to attend everything – and not actually get any work done.
For this reason, identifying exactly why you’re networking is key to success. It’s all well and good attending different functions, but if you aren’t gaining anything from them, it can become a huge waste of resources.
Once you’ve figured out your objectives, you can put together your events timetable and start to plan! Here’s how to network effectively.
The Three Stages of Effective Networking
1.Before the event
Give yourself some measurable targets. This could be to swap business cards with at least ten people, or successfully deliver your pitch to three. Whatever they may be, keep them simple, but be sure to hold yourself to them.
Take plenty of business cards with you, and be prepared to take details from those who don’t use business cards. This could be done with an app on your phone, or simply carrying a notepad and pen. Whatever method works for you - just don’t get caught short and potentially miss out on a valuable opportunity to connect.
Check out what’s happening socially around the event and get involved. It’s a chance to chat with the organisers, which could be handy down the line, and also a good opportunity to identify who is attending.
How to network effectively - during the event
2.During the event
It can be nerve-wracking entering a room of people and jumping in with introductions, but there are a number of ways to do this more effectively. Staying active on social media could give you a head start - as you may be able to continue conversations started online, or be approached by those who recognise you from LinkedIn. A good start is to make a beeline for the speakers - you will have engaged with them beforehand, so try and get some time with them.
When it comes to learning how to network effectively – it’s essential you have a rough idea of what you want to get across while you’re there, so when it comes to talking about your business, you’re ready to communicate value. This will also help calm any potential nerves about having to talk to people – as you won’t be struggling to think about what to say.
Work the room
While you are at the event to meet people, it can be easy to get caught in conversation with one person. However, no matter how engaging that individual is - you’re in a room full of other people looking to connect. Therefore – to network effectively, make the most of the event and meet as many people as possible.
If you’ve met people in the room that you think would benefit from getting to know each other, a really effective networking strategy is to introduce them. This will help with your reputation – and perhaps lead to more business down the line.
Make sure to reach out to any contacts you engaged with at the event - connect on LinkedIn and send a quick personal ‘nice to meet you’ message. It’s a good way to re-establish and reinforce your meeting and move forward with anything discussed at the event. No matter how well you think a conversation may have went, without this – all your hard work will have been for nothing.
Practice makes perfect
Keep your eyes open for upcoming opportunities – networking takes practice, and as long as you keep at it, you’ll become a natural.
Talk to the experts
Ultimately, learning how to network effectively can do wonders for your career – especially when looking for a new job role. However, if you truly want to broaden your horizons, its best to talk to the experts – in the same way that you may use your network to create new business, we utilise our close relationships with employers across the country in order to find candidates their dream job.
Contact us today and we’ll connect you with a specialist consultant from one of our four divisions (Health, Engineering, HVACR, and Logistics). We’ll take time to understand your goals, ambitions, and help land you your dream job.
Call us today on 0330 333 5074!