As much as 80% of jobs are found through interpersonal networks – rather than job sites or recruitment agencies. And, if you’re running a small company, networking and referrals can be equally powerful for creating new business.Attending networking events is often inexpensive or free, and can lead to great opportunities to either meet potential clients, or build relationships with peers who might refer you to one of their contacts down the line.Some people love networking, others find it awkward, but if you want to boost your business, it’s a must. Let’s look at some simple thing you can do to get the most out of business networking events.
Advice for business networking for entrepreneurs
At Book Like a Boss, we want to help your business grow. So, here’s how to network like a boss:• Search for the right eventIn your town or city, there will likely be countless places you can go and meet other business people. The key is choosing the right kind of event to network at. Evidently, it’s good to aim for an event targeted at your sector. Sites like EventBrite and MeetUp can help you find useful opportunities. Also, get active on Twitter, LinkedIn and social media – join groups in your city and watch out for upcoming meetings • Brush up your elevator pitchIf a potential new client asks you what you do, could you summarize your offering in a few seconds, or would you be fumbling for the right words? Your elevator pitch needs to be slick and easy to understand • Bring business cardsMake it as easy as possible to share your details. Bing business cards, including a URL for your website where customers can find out more and book your services. • Do not ‘drive by network’No one wants to feel used. ‘Drive by networking’, where someone hands out their business card to anyone who will take them, will only succeed in annoying people • Be more interested than interestingAt networking events, you obviously need to talk about yourself a little. But, the focus should be on building real relationships. Take an interest in the people you’re talking to – even if they don’t immediately seem like a business prospect. Six months down the line they could introduce you to great new business opportunities • Follow upSo many entrepreneurs forget to follow up with their new contacts. A simple email or even a message on LinkedIn to say how good it was to meet them will keep the conversation goingFor more tips on running your business like a boss, read our blogs.