It can be a daunting task to network, especially for younger entrepreneurs and those new to the business scene. Here are some tips that could help smoothen that process, and are applicable across a variety of settings, including parties, classes, conferences, and more:
Look the Part
Everyone who is an entrepreneur has a personal brand, one that transcends just the work they are doing. It applies to their style, character, appearance, mannerisms, and more. This is why it is important to look sharp and act as if you are representing something bigger than yourself; you are the face of your business.
Always Carry Business Cards and a Pen
This may seem like an obvious one, but it is often overlooked in today’s technology-driven society. It is much more tangible and formal to exchange business cards with someone you have made or are hoping to make a connection with. Using cell-phones during a conference or meeting can be seen as rude and disruptive, so this good old-fashioned method is a preferred alternative.
This applies not just to speak about your business but also talking about yourself. You want to form a holistic personal brand, and this involves being consistent on all your fronts. If you are not someone who often does this, and you think it would be beneficial to have a couple of conversation starters that you’ve brainstormed before then, or even answers to general introductory questions, by all means, do that. Preparation is key to confidence.
Do Not Be Afraid to Approach Those Higher Than You
Everyone gets a little start struck or nervous when they see the star-in their field or the well-renowned keystone speaker at the conference they are attending. However, don’t be shy. Use this opportunity of shared space to approach them and start up a conversation–you want to stand out and prove yourself worthy of networking with. No matter who it is: Bill Gates or Elon Musk or even a local celebrity, they are just a person too