Just thought I'd write a short and sweet post on my top best tips for networking. I know so many of you may find networking/starting conversations at events so awkward but let's be real, networking is your key to growth in all honesty. I think it's a great idea to share skillsets and connections because I definitely feel we can all add value to someone else one way or another.
So, here are my top 5 networking tips, hope they help!
1. Put yourself out there
Do your research into the field you want to get into and look into the events or socials that will be held. These should be events which you think you will genuinely benefit from and plan a night out to one. If it helps, note them in a calendar or your phone and plan effectively - take a friend with you if it makes you lose a few nerves!
2. Just be yourself!
Being in the right place at the right is great but don't be afraid to approach people too. Literally, just smile and say hi. Most people in environments like that are extremely open to conversations so come prepared to converse and exchange details. Do not forget to be yourself, as cliche as it sounds there really is only one of you in the world, so leave an impression! Sell yourself without having to actually sell yourself..
3. Make it a conversation
Don't however make it all about yourself. Use this opportunity to talk to people you've always wanted to get to know a little more away from their social media (within reason - so don't get too personal). Ask questions about them and why they enjoy what they do, hopefully this should help you understand the field a little more. This is usually where the exchange of contact details happens but this will happen organically. Don't be afraid to also ask but respect their choice in contact type..
4. Follow ups are always good!
Wait a few days before you send a follow up message/email but keep it short and cute. Just say something like 'Hey XXX, was lovely meeting you the other night. Would love to catch up on XXXX (based on where your conversation went) when you are next free. Have a lovely week." This just helps to build a rapport without being too pushy but as I said, I'd keep it short and cute.
5. Utilise social media
Finally, as obvious as it seems - utilise your social media! Exchange platform handles but do it only if it feels natural. Don't force the other person to take your social media handles and follow you there and then because it'll only lead to an unfollow later which is pretty awks! I also find that approaching people on social media platforms work for me also in terms of working with new people or collaborating with brands so don't be afraid to go in this direction. I'm lucky enough to have met a lot of the ladies I have worked with in the past through social media! The key to networking is doing it because you want to not because you've got a mental target of securing X amount of emails from radio DJs, or pluggers etc.. you get my drift right?
Feel free to drop me an email if you have any other questions on this at all!
Have a fab week xx