The first rule for any start up business is to get out there; be seen and heard by those you want to connect with the most, be that a journalist or a potential work partner. Don’t hang about, get ahead of the game and get networking!
For that, a business calendar can be very helpful. Check out our blog about it to find out why.
However, before diving straight into it, it’s important to make a good first impression and not put your best efforts out the window. Make sure you’re prepared before you network and pay attention to our list of faux pas listed in this post before you venture out.
Its more than just a business card
You may have a really snazzy business card and that’s awesome but what you have to personally say about your company and brand is what we’re really interested in here. Your business card is not going to have all the information that we need to know of whom you are. Don’t be that person who hands out as many business cards as possible but then leaves us guessing the face that belongs to it. We need you to fascinate and explain to us who you are in a way that would make you unforgettable to a potential client. By all means give out your business card but deliver it at the right moment.
Listening over talking
Obviously you’re going to be chatting to people but don’t forget to return the favour by listening as well. No one wants to listen to someone who goes on and on about themselves and doesn’t leave any space for questions or comments. Make sure you’re listening to what people have to say, ask them questions, that way you’ll learn something new along the way and create a personal connection. The best approach is by asking an off topic, non-related question to work, that’ll get people to talk about a subject they’re truly passionate about. Follow up on this at a later stage by sending them an email talking about said subject and you’ll be reaffirming that connection and presenting yourself at the forefront of their mind.
Offer help don’t just seek it
Don’t make contacts with people with whom you only want to use for your personal gain. There’s no worse way to put someone off by only using them for your own benefit and not exploring how it could work out the other way. Look for connections where you can both help each other out. Offering them help will put you in a favourable position and more likely to create a personal connection, combined with the act of listening to the person as said in the previous bullet point.
As with everything, the first networking event that you’ll attend might be a bit daunting and it is possible that you will make a few mistakes but with practice and by remembering a few faux pas along the way you’ll be on the right track. Remember: ‘anyone can talk, but not everyone knows what to say’ make sure you use networking as an opportunity to say the right thing to the right people.
Written by: Claire Eggleshaw Redoutet, Marketing Intern
Claire adds and contributes to our online material such as blog and twitter posts, she fundamentally helps us maintain the more social media aspect of JournoLink. As a new member of the team, she hopes to gain maximum experience whilst also helping us connect to the wider public.