How to Network to be a Successful Blogger
Some of us are truly gifted when it comes to people skills, while others have to make an added effort to connect. Although the core concept of Networking stays the same, i.e. it is important to be involved when you are networking at social gatherings, and a personal touch in your interactions can go a long way; for those of you who find it awkward/ uncomfortable to mingle and network, here are a few pointers.
Always be on time
Whether it is a networking event or a social event ensure that you arrive on time. Successful people value the time of others, and part of that involves showing up on time for any event. If due to any reason you are going to be late, make sure that you mention that to the organizer or the event host.
Be in an outcome frame during the event
This may sound about as pleasant as filling out a stack of paperwork to order a sandwich, but having a precise goal for your outing can facilitate a better socializing experience. If you are attending a networking event, then have a realistic goal in mind as to what you want to achieve from the event and based on that, plan your time there to ensure that you accomplish that goal. Having an objective not only helps you define what you want to achieve, but more importantly it keeps your brain focused.
Spend the right amount of time
Socialization is as inevitable as it is healthy, even for introverts. When you are at big social gatherings where there is a steady surge of external stimulus, ensure that you spend just the right amount of time to be cordial with everybody, and then based on common interest and how you feel, spend some extra time with those with whom you are more comfortable; this way you will ensure that you come across as sociable. During subsequent events you can also focus on those with whom you could not spend enough time, so as to become better acquainted with them.
Work with your name and work with the names of others
One of the most powerful general networking tips is that while introducing yourself, make sure that you say your name discernibly, and when you hear the other person’s name, make sure that you hear it. If you haven’t, ask for it one more time, and repeat it, and remember it.
Choice of questions
The key to being a great conversationalist rests largely in the ability to ask good/ interesting questions. When you walk up to a person/group of people and introduce yourself, follow up by asking questions that are easy to answer, while staying away from non-controversial topics. For example: What’s been keeping you busy this past week? What do you like best about what you do? Pick up on cues in terms of what a person likes to do/ their passion or bond over a shared experience.
Be present mentally
During a conversation, if this is your thought process: “What’s in it for me?”, then the chances are that your body language will show that you are mentally not paying attention. Learning to relax in social situations is the key. Once you feel calmer socially, then thoughts like that disappear because you go into the flow and allow a conversation to take its own natural path, without feeling you have to force it. Allow a person to express themselves, and develop a propensity to be a genuine listener. Rapport is very important when it comes to Networking.
Don’t share business cards at all times
This is an alternate view: share your business card only if a person requests for it. Not only is it distracting – particularly if the two people are making a great connection – it’s also annoying. It is the equivalent to receiving junk mail in your inbox. You can alternatively request for a person’s business card, and share yours only when they ask for it in return; by doing that you are being selective about who you choose to exchange information with.
No sales pitch
Nobody likes a sales pitch at a networking event or a social gathering. Allow rapport to build, before you request for something where a person can help you. Instead ensure that you offer help if you can, even if the other person has not requested for it. You could also help other people to connect. If a person you know strikes a chord with others (thanks to you), then you will always be remembered as the person who connected them, and this will only help improve the bond that you will share with them.
On the contrary, if you are able to connect with a person through someone’s reference, ensure that you thank your contact a few times. Expressing gratitude makes people feel special, especially when you positively express what you feel about them.