How to Be Seen in Every Networking Session
These days, it is all about networking. Whether you are looking for a career change, secure a project, getting new prospects or just wanted to know people. We must network!
Networking may be easy for some individuals, whereas, for some, it’s an intimidating experience. However, we don’t have to stress out about networking. It’s a useful ‘tool’ for us to brand and market ourselves. It’s another part of Personal Branding.
Before you head over to a networking session, here are few tips on how to be seen in every networking session.
What’s Your Plan?
Yup, everything needs a plan! This is to keep you focus on your target or goal. Instead of going into a networking session blindly, plan out what you want to achieve out of this particular session. Without a focus, you’ll be lost and it will be difficult for you to network with people in attendance. In the end, you would feel left out and will not be participating in another session!
Keep things simple and start-off with questions such as:
- Whom should I collaborate with?
- What are the criteria that I need to collaborate with them?
- Are they sharing the right target audience with me (or your company/brand)?
- What are their strengths, skill sets, connections and more?
With these questions on hand, you may plan out your networking session and achieve your goals. Once you have gotten your answer, that’s where you can prepare your networking plan.
Which Networking Platform Suits Me?
There are many types of networking clubs, groups, and associations. Analyse on few of the groups including their core objectives. This is to ensure that their objectives are the same as yours. In the end, you wanted to meet and connect with the right individuals and companies.
Some of the networking platforms are:
- Public speaking groups.
- Business networking associations.
- Sports, fitness, wellness, hobbies clubs.
- Dating groups, wine tasting clubs and etc.
These are just a fraction of the networking platforms available. Find those which you feel comfortable in so you may utilize your efforts to the max!
What’s the core objective in all networking sessions? It’s the connections!
We participate in networking because we intend to meet more people. Everyone has a value or two which you may find helpful sooner or later. Never judge anyone in a networking session. Build as many bridges as you can.
Just because you find their skills, experiences, knowledge and connections irrelevant to you but that does not mean you can dismiss them as unimportant.
Treat everyone you have met as a friend and business associate. Build up the relationship with them as you will learn more about their businesses and personality. They need to trust you before moving to the next stage.
Building trust takes time. Even a tree would not bear fruit within a day. Be patient and enjoy the friendship you’ve built along the way.
Put Work A Side
Strangely, we need to stop discussing work in a networking session. It’s too dull to talk about work, nothing but work!
To break the ice, try asking the people you meet:
- How are you, how was your day?
- Managed to learn something new?
- How often do you participate in this networking?
Everyday everyone is talking about work. Let’s have some fresh air and talk about our interest. Who knows, you may be sharing the same interest with few of them.
This is how building bridges work. And you are building their trust in you, in a subtle way.
Once they feel comfortable talking to you, it’s easier for you to ask what they do and to arrange for another discussion.
Eventually, this sets you apart and you will not be seen as a hunter. Nobody likes to be hunted in any networking sessions, period!
Once you have your plan, focus and targeted networking platforms, go and have fun meeting people.
Do not be afraid to attend these sessions on your own. Have confidence in yourself as this will elevate your personal branding.
Speak clearly and firmly. With a strong personal branding, people will be attracted to you naturally and want to know more about you, and what you are doing. One way to be seen in a networking session is – confidence!
Remember, this is how to be seen in every networking session. Stay focus, so you would not waste your time and efforts.