To most of us, networking is a scary word. It’s often thought of as a contrived way of making “friends” in your industry, but it really doesn’t have to be.
Most networking groups are made up of like-minded, driven entrepreneurs trying to make connections with other professionals in their community. Imagine a whole room of people who can relate to you and want to support you. Networking can be an important, natural part of growing your business. And with technology, it’s never been easier!
There are a ton of groups and places to find networking events. Here are some great ways to find networking groups in your area:
- Local Facebook groups (like The Denver Boss Babes Collective)
- Wedding Industry groups (like ILEA and Wedding Network USA)
- Your city’s Chamber of Commerce
Go in with an open mind and open expectations. You will only get out what you put in. You probably won’t get 10 new clients after attending your first event, but if you enjoyed yourself and clicked with some people, keep going! If not, find a better group for you. I promise your hard work and time will be rewarded.
Get the conversation started with a compliment. It’s always tough being the new guy and it can be incredibly challenging putting yourself out there. Complimenting someone is an easy icebreaker and a surefire way for them to remember you.
ALWAYS bring business cards and follow up with people. If you get someone’s business card, write them an email in the following days. Or, at the very least, send them a friend request on social media. Tina Brown, former editor of Vanity Fair, recently shared this career advice in an interview with The Cut: “Stay in touch with the people you’re interested in, make sure they’re aware of you, that you stay on their radar. It’s remarkable how much these people appreciate hearing from you when you don’t want something from them.”
Go out there and network! Make friends and make connections—you never know what opportunities are out there waiting for you!