These days we learn more about networking on social media than we do networking in real life situations. Here John Corcoran of Dumb Little Man and former Clinton White House Writer shares five tips for face-to-face networking at events:
Social media is hot. Everyone is talking about Facebook, Twitter, and every other social media site under the sun. These are great tools for building and maintaining relationships. But they aren’t everything. When it comes to developing powerful relationships, social media is still no substitute for old-fashioned, face-to-face networking.
In-person networking is simply one of the best activities you can engage in for your career or your business, hands down. Anyone who thinks they can stay behind their computer, holed away at home, relying 100% on social media for meeting people and developing key relationships is fooling themselves.
In fact, the most effective networking approach today is twofold: one part online, and one part old-fashioned, face-to-face, in-person networking. They are two sides of the same coin. A good networking plan does not rely too much on either online or offline networking, but does include aspects of both.
How Face-to-Face Networking Is Different
Face-to-face networking is very different from social networking. For starters, you’ll actually need to put on pants. Sorry, but this is a mandatory requirement. If you work from home, that means you may need to change out of your pajamas (hopefully it’s not the first time in days).
I recognize that networking at in-person events is more difficult for those who are shy or introverted. However, there are many little “hacks” you can use to make face-to-face networking easier on yourself, whether you are introverted or not.
Here are a 4 killer hacks for networking effectively at old-fashioned, in-person events:
- Commit Yourself to Helping Others.
- Make An Introduction.
- Connect with People Over their Families.
- If You Are Shy or Introverted, Focus on Others
This in turn will lead to meeting new people because people who you already know are more likely to be a gateway for you to their friends and connections.
After all, you have already spent time and energy getting to know people in your network and they have already (presumably) grown to know, like and trust you.
So be sure to spend time and energy networking with people who are in your network already.