Networking 101: How to Effectively Build Your Network at an Event
Are you looking to start attending networking events, but you're not sure where to start? We've got you covered with our biggest takeaway on how to get the most bang for your buck at a networking event.
You're ready to start putting yourself out there.. HOLD UP. Did I just make it sound like your jumping into the dating pool? Yes. Networking is a lot like dating. If you never talk to people, go out of your way, take risks, you won't find many people to "date."
We've heard it all when it comes to networking. There's a handful of people who go to a networking event expecting to have everyone come up to them and that it will require no effort on their end.
That's why we're here to tell you.... you get out of networking, what you put into it.
YOU have to decide to go up and talk to someone.
If we spend our whole lives waiting for someone to come to us, we're missing out on SO many opportunities.
Networking events are there to facilitate to a degree. We can provide a place to gather, structure, a room full of ambitious women. But, we can't build relationships for you.
Now that we've gotten the smack in the face out of the way... here's what you can do to make sure you're creating those connections you want.
START WITH LISTENING & THEN DIG DEEPER
Do you know the best way to start making a connection? Listen. Ask questions, then listen. We love to feel like we're interesting (and plot twist, most people are incredibly interesting if you know how to ask questions).
Here are some of our favorite questions to ask:
Why did you start your business?
What's your big dream?
How can I support you?
More often that not, these questions will open up a can of worms. There won't be awkward silences and you won't feel like you don't know what to say.
As the conversation progresses, you'll be able to to dig deeper and build that relationship. This can all be done in 10 minutes! After you create a foundation with someone, you can go grab coffee a week later to talk more. Maybe you'll start interacting with each other on social media.
The world is your freakin' oyster, but only if you'll get out of your own way.