Do you want to be a networking pro? Here's how to start
The benefits of business networking are undeniable – you already know that and that’s why you’re here, right?
Well, when done right, networking can become a valuable revenue stream. Is that something you can really pass up?
With that in mind, do you want to step your networking up a gear? Do you often wonder what the pros do differently?
Well, now’s your chance to find out, as here at the DARWIN.vip Academy, we’re about to tell you how you can soon become a networking pro.
We’ve made networking work for us, and it has been our founder’s most reliable source of business for his marketing agency, Home of DARWIN, for many years. It worked so well that we created this Academy!
Essentially, networking is all about building real relationships, actively maintaining these relationships, and giving as much as or more than you take.
So, how can you get even better at doing those things? Well, by following our six steps, of course!
Six steps to become a networking pro
- Make meaningful connections – and maintain them. Don’t just stop at pleasantries and call it a day. Get to know people, and take a genuine interest in their lives and businesses. Show that you care! Doing that will build trust and cultivate a long-lasting relationship.
Once you’ve hit it off with someone, stay in touch with them, setting a calendar reminder to reach out every few months. This is much easier than letting things slide and having to put in more leg work to make up for lost time, trust us!
Are there any connections you haven’t spoken to in a while? Pick up the phone! Anyone you’ve been meaning to sort a 1-2-1 with but haven’t got around to it yet? Send an email! It’s quick and easy to cultivate your existing network, making the most of the people you already know.
- Go above and beyond to be helpful whenever you can. Set yourself a target to help a dozen people this month, then each month thereafter, build on that!
Now, when we say be helpful, we mean be really helpful and give with generosity. Actually do something that matters, and make a difference. That’s how to be a networking pro.
If there’s something you can’t help with personally, recommend someone who can – that’s still helpful and will only reflect well on you.
- Casting a wider, more open net on the networking world can unlock opportunities you’d never even considered – or maybe don’t even know exist from your current vantage point. Why stop at the familiar when there’s an opportunity for growth?
So, go forth and get out of your comfort zone, and attend a networking event you’ve never been to before – one that wouldn’t usually take your fancy. Ask yourself why you wouldn’t usually consider this specific event, and if you can’t think of a legitimate reason why you shouldn’t go, then GO! Isn’t that what you would expect a networking pro to do?
Being in that new, different environment may challenge you to think and act differently, bringing with it new rewards. Diversity can only be a positive thing, offering new insights and different perspectives.
- Make the most of your social channels – add 10 new people to your LinkedIn this week. Assuming you already follow specialists in your industry (and if you don’t, get on it), why not look for people who are experts in fields you know nothing about, who can offer a new perspective and something different to see in your feed? You never know what you might learn!
In order to be a networking pro, you can’t rest on your laurels – you have to keep on putting the effort in, so add 10 new people to your LinkedIn next week as well, and the week after that, and the week after that… you get the idea!
- Approach every event you attend with a plan – you wouldn’t head to a business meeting with a client without an agenda, would you? So how is networking any different? You’re ultimately there for business – albeit you’re playing the long game – so a strategy is essential.
Even if you follow a similar plan for every networking event you go to, it pays not to turn up empty-handed, as that could lead to awkward silences, resulting in you not getting as much out of your conversations as you could have. Keep questions, research and prompts up your sleeve, so you’re never short of something useful to say.
- Practice, practice, practice – as with all skills, practice makes perfect, and networking’s no different. The more you go, the better you’ll become, especially if you’re self-aware and willing to learn and improve.
Go and become a networking pro!
There’s no time like the present, so get stuck in with these six steps and you’ll soon become a networking pro!
If you’d like more information about how to network effectively, we’ve created a free guide that you can download using the button below – it’s all about becoming a better networker, and it has already helped many business owners to make more from their meetings and events.