Our business networking tips – how to nail it?
As many of you ladies work in different types of business, you probably know the importance of business networking. Long story short, business networking is a method to put yourself and your business out there, make it seen and create valuable contacts. Sounds like a good idea, right? However, many of us can still find it very challenging indeed.
Last week the roccamore team went to a major start-up event here in Copenhagen – the Tech BBQ. During that event, start-ups book their booths to present what they’ve been up to alongside stages filled with more experienced people from the business who give lectures or run debates. In between these events, there’s quite a big time to mingle – it’s one of the main purposes of the event – to get to know the best of the best in the business, find partners, investors, collaborators and more.
Despite going to a number of business events like this, I can still find it very intimidating. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I tend to get very shy. Being normally quite social, this is such a weird thing for me. I get shy, insecure and I feel like I forgot about all the possible topics I could discuss with those people. Am I the only one?
Apparently not. I spoke to law graduates, young professionals or entrepreneurs making big decisions and they all feel the same anxiety and insecurity from time to time when it comes to networking. Discussing this with a few of these people and looking back at my Tech BBQ experience, I thought of three rules which help me relax and just do it.
1. They’re here to talk
I found out I was for sure not the only one dreading the small talks and mingling like I own the place. Everybody else was most likely feeling the same way. So I found out the best strategy is to just put myself together and just go for it.
2. Find common ground
It can be tricky to start a conversation in a natural way, so just do the good old introduction and ask the usual questions you’re used to (what brings you here; what do you do; can I take another caramel?). Let them talk and once they’re into it, you will surely find out something interesting and can keep the conversation going.
3. Go bold
I always play by the rule “your vibe attracts your tribe” and I think it works also in the world of networking. If you act intimidated and stand in the corner looking insecure, you’ll either talk to someone similar or nobody – and in both cases, the conversation probably won’t be very exciting. If you keep your head up high, build up some self-confidence and put a smile on your face you’ll most likely attract someone who’s ready to have a good chat. You can also wear a bold colour (that’s a tip from our boss lady Frederikke) to attract more attention.
So ladies, that’s my short reflection on the tough big networking world. What is your networking experience? Is there anything you would advise us who are not nailing it as much just yet?