I found networking as a new business so daunting in the beginning. Especially when you first walk into a room full of people having conversations. You might not want to interrupt groups of people or know how to start a conversation.
Networking is so important for getting your business out there and meeting other business owners and potential clients in person. People can put a face to a name and start building trust with you. Especially if you come across as approachable and friendly.
You can do this, don't let the fear put you off!
Here are our top 5 tips for tackling networking like a pro:
1. Put together a brief 60 second pitch to explain what your business is about and how you can help people. What are your services? What do you offer? How do you provide value? How are you different to your competition? This is especially important for speed networking events as you really won't have long to talk to each person. Practice with someone, in front of a mirror or record yourself (may feel silly but it's totally worth it!)
2. Get hold of a guest list at the event or beforehand so you can target who to talk to. For Marsham Court Hotel's New 2 Business Networking they create a booklet with attendee profiles and email addresses in case you don't get round to talking to everyone (very unlikely that you will unless you're super speedy). No need to carry around business cards! Such a genius idea!
3. Talk to people on their own as they'll also be looking for someone to chat to. In the meantime, larger groups of people may be finishing their conversations so you can jump in.
4. Go to as many networking events as you can! Eventbrite is fab for booking lots at once and there are plenty of free ones.
By becoming a member of your local Chamber, you'll have access to lots of events with talks.
5. Don't forget your business cards! For most events you will need to keep these handy and it's useful to put your social profiles on there as well as LinkedIn, your website and your email address. You can even create environmentally friendly ones which is great.
What's your top tip for networking?