Author: Pratik Dholakiya / Source: Entrepreneur Everyone has heard the phrase: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” While this sa
Everyone has heard the phrase: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
While this saying will always hold merit, the concept of networking is different today than it was 20 to 30 years ago. With the help of the internet and social media, we are more connected than ever and able to efficiently interact with massive numbers of people.
As an entrepreneur, you may find the early stages of networking incredibly difficult. The name of the game is identifying the right people to get acquainted with and then talking with them with a healthy dose of assertiveness about relevant subjects .
Here are four tips to keep in mind when building your network from the ground up.
1. Start by listening.
Just as happens with any business venture, yours will find that success depends heavily on planning. When you’re looking to network with potential customers or other businesses, you need to be up to speed on the goals and concerns you share.
Knowledge is power. Learning what issues matter to the people you want to form relationships with is crucial for planning your approach. Regardless of whether you’re meeting potential clients/partners at an in-person event, or online, you need a firm understanding of relevant topics to make a good impression. Prepare talking points beforehand.
For example, say you are marketer attending a mixer for startups. You’ll want to go into the event knowing exactly what the relevant issues are and how you can help. As an example, the problem might be search engine rankings resulting from a major Google algorithm update. This could be a huge topic of interest and an opportunity for you to showcase your expertise.
Social media is a great resource to get a feel for common obstacles businesses in your category face. Using tools like Mention, you can keep tabs on certain brands, keywords or entire industries to learn what is trending. From there, you can glean the proper insights to come up with the answers people are looking for.
2. Get involved.
One of the most fascinating things about the business world is that valuable connections can form just about anywhere. It’s only a matter of getting out there. The…