5 tips for successful networking
Putting yourself out there at professional events can be a challenging, but these events provide great networking opportunities. Here are some key tips on how you can network successfully.
1. Set Intentions - When you attend an event always have an intention - your own secret mission. For example, “I will introduce myself to 5 new people today.” The intention you set will remind you why you are there, and push you into action.
2. Understand your Brand - Have a clear understanding of what you do, why, for whom, and what makes your job special. If you gain a clear understanding of these points it will be easier to articulate who you are to others.
3. Focus Questions - To start conversation, always have several focused questions ready that are open ended and get a discussion going. Some great opening questions are:
- What do you do?
- How did you get started in your field?
- What do you enjoy most about your job?
This a great way to learn more about each other’s expertise, interests and professional backgrounds.
4. Use Business Cards - It’s important to take your business cards with you everywhere you go. Hand it to every person you connect with. You want to help people remember you and get in contact with you.
5. Use Social Media - Get active online and start connecting (and reconnecting). Think of Facebook as a virtual cafe where people easily talk between tables. Send direct messages to old friends and new contacts. Search for groups that relate to your interests, join them, and get involved in discussions. Think of LinkedIn as a conference that's always in session. Fill out your profile in detail, upload your email addresses and connect with your contacts, join alumni networks, and post or answer questions. Stay on top of the latest trends by following interesting thought leaders on Twitter.
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