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Networking 101

<p>Why should you take the time to network in 2019? Is it necessary to go to these events even if you are not fond of them? It is true that social media and the internet are more and more used; however, networking is still an interesting and humane option to meet potential customers. In fact, it is another way to <a href="" target="_blank">find new contracts</a> and to expand your business network. You might miss some profitable projects or partnerships if you always stay at home; therefore, what do you have to lose? Do not forget that most people during networking events do not like them very much too at first.</p> <h3><strong>Where can I do networking?</strong></h3> <p>Many events are organized each year by different associations or chambers of commerce. Look for associations in your area. They will tell you if they organize networking events. You can also ask other professionals if they know any networking groups or upcoming meetings. Make sure to not only stay with the people you know when you go to these events since you are there to meet new potential customers. If you stay with the same person, you will be losing your time.</p> <h3><strong>Our suggestions on how to improve your networking experience</strong></h3> <p>As any promotional campaign, your networking presence must be prepared in advance. Take the time to make some research on the place where the event will be held and on the people or companies that will be attending. There might be a company or a person to target more precisely. Although these meetings encourage exchanges and new encounters, you still need to give a first good impression. Think that it is an open interview. You do not know at first which of the participants will become your next or most lucrative client. Furthermore, it is the best moment to give your business cards that you have not used for a long time. Yes, business cards are still relevant today. Do not forget to ask them when you meet interesting people. It will then be easier to contact them or you can use their business card in order to leave some notes. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Do not forget the reason why you need to meet new people. Is it to expand your business network? Is it to meet professional with specific talents? Is it to practice your selling presentation? Find new contracts during the downtime? Keep your goal in mind when you will cross the gates. It is not everyone that is comfortable with introducing themselves but as mentioned above, what do you have to lose? Let us tell you a secret: most of the other participants feel the same. Take then the time to prepare a few sentences that present you and your living in advance.</p> <p>People wish to talk to many potential partners during these meetings. Thus, take only a few minutes of their time presenting yourself and your work. We also strongly suggest you take the time to listen to others. One of them could be useful in the future. For instance, a graphic designer could help you make an add, whereas an accountant could help you with your tax reports. Do not look your cell phone all evening since you will look busy. People will not approach you in consequence. There are many conversation topics to explore with strangers, whether is the about the place or their networking experience so far.</p> <p>When the event is over and you are finally home, take the time to do a post-mortem of this trial. Are you satisfied with your performance? Did you manage to talk with a lot of people? Do you feel that some of the event participants could become new customers, for instance? Take out the business cards you received and read them or write more notes about the people you have just met. You could also add them on Linked In or contact them by e-mail after a few days if they seemed interested. You never know what a stranger can offer you.</p> <p></p> <p>Are you now convinced that networking is not that bad, that difficult? These events can bring you a lot. As a self-employed person or a freelancer, networking can help you get new projects. In any case, when was the last time you left home and went to a professional soir&eacute;e? We suggest that everyone should try networking even if you are only a student or you think you have enough work at the moment. &nbsp;</p>