Networking can be scary for many people. That’s understandable. There are many misconceptions, bad behavior, and some frightfully awful networking stories out there. Scary!
Networking can also be sweet, mostly stress-free, and satisfying. When you know how to network the right way, you’ll enjoy lots of wonderful treats like new friends, clients, job opportunities, advisors, mentors, invitations to events, support systems, access to VIPS, and did we mention new friends?! Sweet!
Use these three easy ways to make networking less scary, less stressful, and more successful: Super Sweet!
- Change your attitude.
If you hate, fear, dread, or resist networking, then you may not understand what networking really is. Networking is NOT about meaningless chit chat, casual one-time interactions, shoving a business card into someone’s hand, cold calls, unsolicited mass emails, or sleazy sales pitches. Networking should never be defined by those horrible situations. Yes, those creepy people are out there, but they are not networkers, so don’t let a few bad apples define your experience. Networking is truly about developing meaningful, strategic, long-term relationships. Relationships that lead to valuable professional and personal opportunities. Think about cherished relationships you’ve developed with co-workers, colleagues, classmates, and friends. Think about the advice, opportunities, and support that you’ve received – and given – in those relationships. Those relationships are what networking really is.
- Make a commitment to your success.
Networking doesn’t just happen by accident. You need to make networking a regular part of your life. You need to set your goals, develop a specific action plan, and commit to networking activities that will help you achieve these goals. For example, if you want to make a career transition into the hospitality industry, or you want to market your services to hotels, you’ll need to look at the leading hospitality and lodging associations, companies, resources, and events. Make a list of people you already know in this sector. Make a list of people you know who can connect you to hospitality and lodging professionals. Set meetings for advice, referrals, job leads, and information interviews. Ask directly for the chance to pitch your services, and offer to reciprocate with networking introductions, and to hear a pitch in return. Put local events and regional conferences in your calendar – and register for them. Attend, work the room, and build valuable new relationships.
- Hire a networking coach.
Seriously. Hire a professional. Preferably a Fireball. The best investment you can make in your business or career is investing in and educating yourself. Learn the art of conversation, how to turn small talk into big opportunities, and acquire and improve critical skills – including communication, presentation, marketing, branding, and relationship building. If you’re struggling with fear, uncertainty, or frustration around networking, if you’re trying unsuccessfully to do it on your own, or if you’re not doing it all, I will help you. I became a networking coach to help people present themselves more authentically and confidently, connect more easily in all types of situations, and achieve tangible results. Myclients will tell you how I inspired, empowered, and trained them to become fearless, fabulous networkers. They’ve learned how to talk to strangers, create manageable and regular networking habits, discover new communities, and land awesome new clients, jobs, and friends. And you can too!
When you hire a Fireball, you’ll receive inspiration plus practical advice on networking strategies, mindset, and skills. You will learn how to:
- Set realistic networking goals and develop strategic action plans
- Work a room with impact, and follow up to get results
- Manage conversation starters, closers, and calls to action
- Promote your personal / professional brand in authentic and meaningful ways
- Connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime with confidence and focus
- Choose the right networking events and activities for your personality, interests and schedule
You can also hire us to be your wing woman, to work the room with you.
Don’t be afraid anymore! Schedule your complimentary consultation call
(That’s our version of free candy.)