Networking is an important aspect of growing your career or business success. It is both time-consuming and extremely useful to master. Here are a few tips that can help you to level up your networking game.
Have a plan Be strategic in your approach. It’s important to remember quality is better than quantity while networking. While it’s great to meet new people, meeting people relevant to your industry, or people you think you could learn from are a few examples of who you should aim to connect with. Remember that connecting with the right person could lead you to the right opportunities instead of amassing connections that might be irrelevant to your goals.
Practice your elevator pitch An elevator pitch is a quick summary of your experience and background. It should ideally be 30 to 60 seconds long - short enough to last an elevator ride. It should effectively explain who you are, what you do, any results you’ve achieved, or what you want to do (in the case you are looking for a new opportunity). Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Be compelling - keep your pitch short but make sure your passion and enthusiasm come through
Speak about your skills - share what value you bring to an organization by sharing your results and achievements.
State your goals clearly - always remember to mention what you’re looking for clearly and concisely for e.g ‘I’m looking for a new role in finance’ or ‘I’m looking to partner with someone in distribution’.
Speak slowly and clearly - with a lot to convey in 60 seconds, don’t start rushing through your pitch. It can be off-putting and doesn’t give the listener time to register what you’re saying
Be responsive Always remember to carry a business card with details of your email, social media handles, and contact number to give to people at networking events. If you don’t have a business card, have your LinkedIn QR code ready. Be sure to follow up with people who you’ve connected with on LinkedIn or email as it’s always a good practice to thank them for their time. Consider maintaining an excel sheet of people you’ve connected with and regularly check in with them every month to keep an open line of communication and stay top-of-mind.
Join a community There are many communities out there that provide great opportunities to network. When joining a community it’s important to consider how you can add value to it in addition to what value you can get out of it - it’s a two-way street! Here are a few platforms that we recommend:
Crunchmoms.com is a network of talented women aimed at elevating what it means to be a woman in business. Once you sign up for a membership plan, members can get access to talks, workshops, one-on-one coaching, and highly vetted networking.
Reddit is a platform of communities that allows users to search for a community based on their interests and join. Once you’re a part of an online community, you can share content, news, and ask questions much like you would on a forum.
We can also find groups to join on LinkedIn. Simply type in the search bar the industry you’re interested in and the location you want e.g. “accounting and finance in Dubai”. You’ll be directed to a results page with accounting and finance groups you can request to join!
Facebook is the OG networking tool. There are dozens of groups that users can join for free. What is particularly useful about it is that you are likely to find a group located in your neighborhood or community which makes attending events and meetups easier.