This is a guest post from Jenna Sherman. Opinions expressed by Engineering our Future contributors are their own.
As an entrepreneur, you’re in charge of coming up with ideas and implementing them to achieve your goals. To become successful, you must embrace networking opportunities, which offer many benefits. Courtesy of Luis Duque, here are the ways you can embrace networking for success as an entrepreneur.
Join New Communities
For effective networking, you need to find communities where you can meet fellow entrepreneurs to learn and share ideas. An easy way to network is through social media groups, which bring people in your industry together to share and connect. To ensure successful online networking, you should establish a digital presence.
Build a profile other people can explore to learn about you or your accomplishments. When you join the community, engage other users by posting and contributing to discussions. Also, look beyond professional focus. You can participate in communities for your hobbies and get unexpected connections.
There are different things you can learn from the experts, but if you prefer a one-on-one engagement, you should attend different events. This is a good way to broaden your network to get connections that you would not otherwise make.
In-person events allow you to grab opportunities near you, and it’s an option you can use to build connections with people who share similar goals, even if in different business fields. Also, consider events as an opportunity to socialize and learn in a relaxed environment.
Give More Than You Take
Another way to achieve great connections is to give. Sometimes, to build a network, you need to give more than you always take. Seize opportunities and share your knowledge or expertise. You can develop helpful resources and share them on online platforms.
There are people who will follow you to learn, and in return, they might share similar resources with you. By creating opportunities for conversation or engagement, you will invite other people to join your network.
When you meet a person, it’s important to keep notes of your last meeting, so when they call, you can refer to the notes. You can easily forget names and facts when networking with many people. The benefits of note-taking include that you’ll be courteous, and you can pick up the conversation without sounding aloof.
Showing someone you’re committed to the conversation will get them interested to share more. This allows you to receive valuable insights you might not have got prior. Make it routine to record details like phone numbers, names, and other important information about a person you meet for the first time on a business engagement.
Most networking events offer strong energy, which causes people to get lost in the moment. This energy fades when you return home, and you can get sidetracked without staying connected. It’s important to follow up after the event has ended. Send a note letting them know you gained from the meeting. If you want to stay in touch longer, you should consider connecting on LinkedIn or similar social media platforms.
Additionally, while you can spread the word for free via social media, don’t forget to include some more traditional approaches, as well. For example, you can use free personalized business card templates to generate cards that you can pass out to potential customers.
As an entrepreneur, creating a good product is just the beginning. It’s important to show the courage to get the product to as many people as possible. Networking is one of the ways you can reach people who will support you. Attend events and be active on social media groups in your industry.
My name is Luis Duque and I currently work as a Bridge Engineer at Foothills Bridge Co. Foothills provides engineered solutions for the erection, retrofitting, and dismantling of bridges. Some interesting projects I have work on recently including various temporary scaffolds and structures on the Golden Gate Bridge and demolition of the Central 70 viaduct in Denver, Colorado. Please contact me with any questions.