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By Casey Smith

Tools to step up your networking game

Regardless of your occupation, personal networking is what keeps your business moving forward. So whether you are bringing in business for your company or searching for job opportunities, networking is key for your progress. However, many people do not have the slightest idea as to how to network, gain contacts or make professional connections at a basic level. Here, we provide you with the savvy you need to become a networking pro among your peers.

Networking tools you will need

Networking requires preparation beforehand to ensure your advances do not fall flat. One big investment should include business cards, as these are how you will be selling yourself and your service to strangers. Feel free to brag on your business cards, as they will leave a lasting impression on whomever you give them to. Although bragging might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, no one will be aware of your accomplishments or what you have to offer unless you tell them. It’s also important to carry business cards on your person at all times. After all, you can never predict when you will run into a contat that could change the course of your life.

Another tool to consider using is social media. Having profiles across several social media platforms is incredibly useful, and it is important to utilize them regularly. Considering the networking possibilities available through social media, not using social media can easily leave you (and your contacts) in the dust. It’s also important to connect with people outside of your industry online. The main reason for this is due to the fact that everyone is valuable, and looks can be deceiving. It’s important that you branch out, meet everyone you can and treat them fairly – as if they work your industry. Your new contact could refer you to someone relevant to your industry.

Networking in person

Networking in person is a bit more complex, but it is a skill that can be mastered quickly. For example: Be friendly. Being friendly is not that difficult, so why not present yourself in a friendly manner whenever you are meeting a new contact? In addition to improving your life and the people you surround yourself with, remaining friendly allows both parties to open up and help each other out when networking.

Another great tip for networking is to make a new contact feel important. People want to feel special, so make a person feel extra special by getting excited when you meet them? Nobody will remember someone who is boring, so stand out and get excited when you meet someone new.

Making a connection and sealing the deal

Remaining in touch with your new professional connection is incredibly important. For example: It’s important to remember the names of people you meet. Although this might seem nearly impossible, try to remember a person by something that makes them stand out from the rest of your contacts (such as a tattoo or a trait). Once you have their name memorized, create plans with your new connection. Make a habit of setting up a time to meet with someone immediately after you give them your business card.

Now that you have the most important areas of networking covered, it is time for you to get out and start meeting new people. Between your newly found confidence and readiness to meet new contacts, you will have no problem climbing the social ladder and linking up with like-minded individuals.

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