Although we live in an extremely digital age, there’s still immense value in connecting with real, live humans—yes, in person. If you’re afraid of networking events because you’re a severe introvert, or maybe you feel you have nothing of value to offer other people, don’t worry. Check out some tips for killing it (in a good way!) at networking events.
3 Ways to Network with Live Humans and NOT Zombies Online
If you’re looking for how to network at an event or where to start networking, look no further. There are countless opportunities to connect with others in your industry to benefit all parties.
Join awesome professional groups
Here at Post Launch, we do our best to jump at any opportunity to network with both industry leaders and business owners who could use our web presence marketing expertise.
Here are some suggestions for where you can start looking for professional groups to join:
- Catapult Groups
- Other local mixers and Las Vegas networking groups
- Alumni groups
- Having conversations with people who have a pulse and aren’t screen zombies
Strength lies in numbers. When you get comfortable talking in a social setting that’s industry specific, you can learn loads from your peers and maybe even generate some leads for your business. Our best tip for getting started? Join groups you’re interested in; you network the best when you’re talking about what you love and connecting with people who share your passions.
Attend events within your industry—and the more fun ones
Networking events can be for work, but they can also be fun. They can turn professional relationships into more casual, friendly ones. You start to learn more about your colleagues as people, and they will eventually build a trust with you that translates to other arenas.
Talk to people in one-on-one settings
Meeting in a personal setting can definitely be scary, especially if this person is still a stranger to you. Solve this by determining your motivation for your one-on-one meeting. Once your “date” has a mission or a goal to accomplish, it becomes that much easier for conversation to flow. When you meet with others in a more personal setting, you’ll start to understand them more and get a more intimate view of the person.
Pro Tip: Start on social media, and then transition to the common ground you share. Everyone likes followers on social, so it’s a good baby step. But for this to happen, you must have an inviting social account. Once you’ve connected, find their “sweet spot.” Coffee, tea? Dessert or drinks? ALWAYS take an active interest in the person outside of their professional industries. They are human, after all.
Introvert? No Problem!
Here are some quick and easy tips to follow if you’re a bit shy and reserved but still want to get started at networking events.
What to do before you attend a networking event:
- Look at the guest list to see who will be attending. Make a list of people you want to meet or connect with.
- Double check the location and time.
- Eat before you go if food isn’t being served. Don’t network hangry!
What to bring with you:
- Business cards
- Portable phone charger
- Breath mints
- Attire that abides by the event’s dress code
How to start a conversation:
- Say hello, duh.
- Ask some initial questions: What brought you to this event? What do you do for work? What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
- Talk about the event you’re attending. If you’re attending a mixer about technology, ask the person about what CRM or project management system they’re using. Sparks are flying already, huh?
- Use your connections! Ask the person if they need any help. Offer to introduce them to others in the industry you know.
How to leave a conversation:
- Thank your new friend for their time.
- Tell them you want to say hello to another guest.
- Offer to meet up later at the event OR make a date to have coffee or lunch to follow up,
- Exchange contact information! Grow your LinkedIn network, and make sure you can contact them in the future before you say your “Goodbyes.”
Key Takeaways to Get You Started Networking
Be creative and strategic with your networking. Find networking opportunities that match your passions. Last, look for a referral source, not a client. Instead of focusing on selling your service or product focus on finding new people to learn from or share great industry news with.
If you’re looking for a great place to get started networking, try our social media profiles. We’d love to hear what you have to say about Internet marketing and the digital world. Connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Leave a comment on a post or reply saying, “I’m not a zombie!” so we know there are real live humans out there in the world, after all.