If there is anything that I know about and just absolutely love, it's networking! I love playing matchmaker for businesses, to collaborate and grow! So, a little over a year ago, I started a networking group to bring entrepreneurs, small businesses, and creatives together to meet, connect and grow. It's called, Coffee + Connections.
While, I love my tribe, I also enjoy meeting people in other networking groups. So, I put together a few tips to overcome your social anxiety of going to a networking event, or just getting the most out of attending one!
Tip 1 : Go to make a friend, not a sale
There is nothing more annoying that meeting someone and the first thing they do is hand you a business card. It's one thing that could potentially deter me from doing business with you. Same thing with those spammy comments on Instagram. "Hey Leiken! Let us help you grow your following 10x. Send me a DM." Ummm...no.
There's a lot of people that do a lot of the same things. So, what is going to set you apart from the rest? A personal relationship. Making a friend and building a personal relationship is crucial in networking. Because, they're going to be the first one your call or refer to your friends. Not someone who just hands you their business card.
Tip 2 : Be Confident
Listen, if you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will. Period. Be confident in yourself that what you do and what you provide is quality and that people need what you have. Don't discount yourself and your capabilities....or your prices. Like mentioned above, go to networking events to build relationships, but also practice your elevator pitch :)
Tip 3 : Just Go!
Networking is a sure fire way to build and grow your business and referral base. So, if you're just thinking that you might want to go to an event, I'm going to tell you, don't think, just do. Put it in your calendar right now and make yourself go. If you don't go, you don't grow.
I mentioned on my personal page the other day that your net worth is determined by your network. Go ahead and think about that for a second.
Surround yourself with like minded individuals, inspire each other, and grow personally and professionally. But first you need to JUST GO!
Be sure to follow our Coffee+ Connections page to keep up with our monthly networking events. And if you're a lady, please join our Facebook group, Leading Women of West Texas. It's our online network for the business gals.