For some women, networking can be terrifying. Why do so many fear putting themselves out there? Perhaps some are shy or haven’t had to meet a lot of new people for success. For others, it’s the idea of stepping out of a comfort zone away from everything they know. Yeah, even extraverts feel this sometimes.
If you need to network for your career or even for personal reasons, there will always be a starting point. I recommend beginning at a place where you feel comfortable. I say this because shy individuals and introverts can easily be turned off by too much social activity too fast. Here are some simple steps for networking success that most personality types will find useful.
Networking Success #1: Set Goals
Set goals for the results you want, as well as the actions needed to get them. For example, you might want to find a new position in your industry. Give yourself a target date and some specific criteria surrounding the new job. Now, set a goal about how much outreach you will do a day or week. Get as specific as you can about what you’re doing.
Networking Success #2: Use Social Media
Social media is a perfect place to start networking for business and personal reasons. However, social media platforms each have there own vibe and specialty. For example, LinkedIn specializes in connecting people for business and career movement. Though you can network for business on other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, just be clear on your goals and who you want to reach. You can network well on Twitter, as well, but use your time wisely, as you can get sucked into the feed.
One thing they all have in common is the fact that you must complete a personal profile that details some things about yourself. The key to having successful networking on social media is consistent posting of interesting content. This can be photos, writing, memes, articles, promotions, games, etc.
Do be careful about fishing for clients and customers on your personal pages though. People can see what you’re doing if all you post is things about your products or business. Work on the balance between personal and business posts. Be genuine and authentic in everything you do.
Networking Success #3: Seek Networking Groups
Oftentimes, it’s easier to find appropriate networking groups online than it is in person. However, I recommend researching both options. There will be some things you can get from a virtual relationship and some you can’t. It really depends on what your purpose is and what you want to get out of the experience. Facebook is a good resource for topic-specific groups. In fact, you will likely have more to choose from than you need.
Networking Success #4: Attend Networking Events
I do find networking events helpful for business-related goals. These events are specifically designed to boost your business by putting you in touch with other like-minded individuals with similar goals. You are often offered seminars or teaching workshops in these types of events. That allows you to grow and learn while you meet new people. You can also seek out virtual networking events if you aren’t able to get to any live ones.
Networking Success #5: Create Your Own Event
If you can’t quite find what you’re looking for in an event, consider creating your own. This might give you more momentum in your industry and bring some influential people right to your door. Carefully plan your event, and get professional help if you need it. The event venue will be your first consideration, as these can be booked months and even years in advance.
Networking Success #6: Be Patient
As with anything else in life that requires effort, networking successfully will take time and some patience. If you are just starting a social media campaign, people won’t notice you overnight. It takes consistency and building a personal brand over a period of time. Pay attention to what is working and continue those efforts. If something you’re doing isn’t getting any results, leave it behind. Focus your attention on your goals and what brings the most joy, success, and positive results.