Photo source: blog.frannet.com
Nowadays, building relationships and networking are key for success in any industry. Somehow, most of us are still terrified of the idea to connect with people we don’t know, and it makes us feel uneasy and uncomfortable. Even if we’re shy, we can still improve our networking skills!
Networking can be done both online – on sites such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and offline – at events, conferences and other events. With any types of networking, the aim is to meet the people you’re interested in networking with and charm them! Don’t be alarmed, it’s actually easier than it sounds.
Improving your Networking Skills
#1. It’s not networking, it’s socializing
The first step you need to take in order to improve your networking skills is to stop thinking of it as networking. Instead, try to think of it as making a friend. Or as an opportunity to help someone. For instance, if someone on Twitter asks about something you’re good at, simply answer them in a friendly manner, perhaps even sharing a useful resource with them.
#2. Do your homework
Research and identify the people you’d like to meet. You’ll feel more at ease if you’re prepared and have some information on them. Try finding those who share a passion or an ideal with you. It will make talking to them a lot easier.
#3. Listen carefully
Sometimes, it really pays to be a good listener. People want to talk, share their ideas. Start practicing your listening skills!
#4. Elevator Pitch
The idea is simple: an elevator pitch is a pitch you have very little time for and by the time the doors open, you’ve convinced the other about your idea. Your elevator pitch has to sum up who you are and how you can help. Remember though, you don’t sell anything but you try to connect with someone!
#5. Go for smaller groups
You might be tempted to go for the largest groups, but go for the smaller ones. At an event, engage in conversation with a group of 3 or 4 people to have more genuine connections. Online, a group discussion with fewer participants means you’re more likely to make your voice heard than in a conversation where dozens of comments are posted by the minute.
Networking skills are essential today. Stop thinking of networking as something scary and try to employ the tips we’ve shared with you. You’ll see it only gets easier! Do you know other tips to improve networking skills?
References: sensationaljobs.com, raintoday.com
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