Networking 101

Good day, beautiful people; how are you doing today?


Networking is a vital part of running a business and just meeting like-minded people in your community. You guys often ask me about meeting new people and tips I might have for networking, and I wanted to share a few tips I use. I will preface this by saying I don't by any means think I know everything the is to know about networking, and there is still so much I can learn, but I find that these tips work for me (if you have any tips of your own comment them below so we can all learn from them). Also, there is no right or wrong way to do this for the most part as long as you reach the desired goal.


1. The Arrival

Before you leave the house, make sure you feel good, like I mean really good. Walk to a mirror and check yourself out . . . me comfortable in all that fabulousness.


Now for the entrance, I am a strong believer in being a little fashionably late or what my mum would call running on African time. For me, getting there about 10 or even 15 minutes late eliminates the awkwardness of being the first person there.

or

On the other hand, my friend doesn't share the same sentiment; she says she prefers getting there early and getting an opportunity to scan the room and actually calms her down and helps her keep centred.


Regardless of whether, like me, you don't mind being that centre of attention and actually potentially using that as a conversation starter or you are like my friend who prefers being a bit more punctual, find what timing works for you and roll with that.


2. Conversation starter & Questions to ask

Bring something that is a conversation starter. You could have a statement piece like a bright coat or sparkly ring or a cute pair of shoes. Just have something out of the box that will get people to come to you, and you can start that conversation.

example: "woooow, these shoes are absolutely stunning."

. . . you say, "thank you so much (you can insert an interesting back story about the item.. but always be honest), by the way, my name is (insert name), and you are ?"


Also, have some set questions prepared to ask the person to boost those conversations from that point onwards. Make use of open-ended questions that leave room for continuous conversation as well.

3. NO PHONE

Your phone is off-limits for the evening. No matter how awkward you feel, don't touch your phone because it indirectly isolates you from the rest of the room. The only exception to using your phone is when you are getting connected and are sharing information with people.


4. Be the plug

Talking about obtaining and sharing information, make sure you bring a pen and pad to take notes. This is good for you as you will have all this information to look back at later and meditate on, but you become the plug for notes for someone else, which can help you build that conversation even after the event.


5. Follow- Up

Now that you have had a super successful networking session, it's time to build those hopefully long-lasting relationships. For the most part, shoot the person a text, and you can see how things go from there. However, something to remember is that if you and the person don't continue the conversation, even after you reach out, don't take it personally. Not everyone you meet will be your next business bestie, and that's okay.


Bonus Tip:

Don't let fear stop you from meeting people. All there things I have spoken about are things we can all be practicing in our everyday lives. If you see someone on the bus with a beautiful jacket, let them know and engage them in conversation.


Confidence is like a plant... you plant the little seeds in and you water it, nourish it and all that good stuff so that it grows and continues to thrive. Till it gets to a point when it starts giving birth to new fruits of its own. Sometimes at the start, you might need to fake it till you make it. But please don't do yourself the disservice of not letting the world see how amazing you are.
-Me

And that's a wrap... comment below if you have any suggestions and tips.


Till next time...


xoxo