Whether you’re just getting out of school or switching careers into something more business-focused, networking is crucial.
You can have all the resources in the world, but without colleagues, investors, and potential customers, you’re going to be fighting an intense uphill battle. The sooner you make potential connections and grow your brand, the sooner you can get started.
The goal of networking is to meet new people, plain and simple. Go into events with the goal of developing relationships. These relationships can lead to meaningful partnerships, marketing and sales growth, and even new career opportunities.
But where do you even start? Here is a helpful guide for getting into the networking game as a beginner.
Put Yourself Out There
The first step, as you can imagine, is getting out there and meeting people. There are always different opportunities, whether presented by your own company, other local businesses, or industry professionals. It may seem intimidating to take that first step out the door and introduce yourself, but it’s worth it. Nothing is more impressive than stepping out of your comfort zone and making that effort.
Not every networking connection you make has to be brand new, either! Catch up with old friends and previous jobs to expand your contacts list. You never know who or what you might need as you evolve in the business world.
If you’re having a hard time taking that first step, try some social networking apps to build confidence!
Social media isn’t just for your leisure time anymore! Introduce your skills online and you’ll have a better chance of finding someone who is looking for exactly what you have to offer!
And not to sound like your grandma, but be wary of what you’re posting online! A bad online first impression is hard to recover from.
Keep Business Cards On Hand
Having a clean, well-designed business card has been a cardinal rule for business professionals since time immemorial. Classic paper cards are still in circulation, but more companies, organizations, and people are going digital with their business cards, too.
Phone apps like StayTouch allow users to input all of their contact information, including social media links, links to portfolios, and websites. Then you can instantly exchange that information with other business professionals.
QR codes and digital business card scanners are another quick and paperless method of connecting businesses with contacts.
But still, there’s nothing like a classic. If you have physical business cards, keep it simple and clean. Make sure everything is spelled and formatted correctly and keep a few on-hand at all times. You never know who you’re introducing yourself to.
Stay Organized with a Contact Relationship Manager
You’ve worked so hard to get those contacts, don’t let anything separate the two of you! No matter how you organize them, make sure you get contact information taken down and organized as soon as possible.
Many of these management softwares come with built-in calendars so you can keep track of meetings and events, too.
Interested in a smart networking platform that can provide digital business cards, contact management, relationship building, calendars, messaging, and more? Check out the StayTouch app here!