For those of you who don’t have time this week to listen to episode 54 of This is Life Unfiltered, I wanted to give you my networking tips right here on Life Unfiltered. Networking is a crucial part of becoming successful in any industry and it’s the topic of this weeks episode. I went to dinner with one of my good friends Danielle a few weeks ago and her and I both agreed that networking is pointless if you’re going to events that you aren’t getting any value out of. Why force yourself to go out to an event just because of the possibility you might meet one solid connection, when most of the time you have no clue who will be there?
But then again, don’t you miss all the shots you don’t take?
There is a proper technique to networking and it starts with your mindset. If you walk into a bar trying to meet a cute guy or girl and you don’t smile, do you think someone is going to feel comfortable enough to approach you? Of course not. The same goes for networking. If you evaluate your priorities and get over the totally normal fear of rejection then you’ll find yourself going out to every event ready to land the job or the date.
1. Get business cards!!!!!
I can’t preach enough how important business cards are even if you’re not an entrepreneur. Think about business cards like this: if you’re in an elevator with Mark Cuban one day, would you rather be the 99% of people who won’t know what to say to him OR would you rather be the 1% who knows your elevator pitch and has a dope business card to give to him right from the bat?
Even if you haven’t found your purpose or your career path, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a business card with your name and phone number on it.
2. Pick and choose wisely
Even when I go out to events I feel like I have FOMO about not going to a different event. There’s really no easy way to pick and choose where/ what events you go to. The older I get the more lack of interest I have in attending events that I’m invited to. I’d rather curl up with my girls and watch Netflix with chocolate than go to an event for the slim possibility I might make one solid connection. Here’s what I’ve started doing: listening to my gut. Sounds silly right? Let your intuition lead you to taking the right opportunities and leaving the rest behind. The worst thing to do is go to an event and get stuck wandering around all night wondering why you went out in the first place. If something doesn’t fit your vibe, skip it!
3. Set a networking goal
When you decide to go to an event, what’s your main priority? If you set a goal then you’ll know the reason you’re there along with solid intentions. If you can tell yourself you want to start by simple saying “hi” to one new person every time you go out, by a few months you’ll be the first person saying hello when you walk through the door!
4. Have a sidekick
I’ve realized that going out to events with a +1 always makes networking much easier. However make sure the person you’re going out with is in the same boat as you: courageous and eager to meet new people. Have a plan of attack before you walk in to the event so you know who is going to approach who. If you go out a few times with your trusty sidekick and don’t find them networking as well as you want them to, then find a new person or get used to going out alone! Networking is certainly easier when you aren’t going about it alone.
5. Have fun with it
More often than not I’ll pick my 1 day a month to go out and the event won’t always leave me feeling super confident with my networking abilities but I walked away with fun pictures, a full stomach and some new knowledge. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable.