Have you noticed recently that the border between business and leisure is gradually fading? In the past platforms like Facebook and Instagram were used for entertainment but now people are registering business accounts, promote themselves and others, give useful tips and, of course, monetize their presence. I am sure you are doing it too or at least thinking about it.
Where am I going with this? The idea that business networking opportunities are only available at professionally organized conferences or events is getting old. People move passed the setting to start sharing ideas and collaborate. You too should take advantage of this notion, keeping in mind the importance of networking.
Let’s look at 2 main sources of uncovered networking opportunities: online and offline:
Hidden online networking opportunities.
We have already discussed that there are many specific online platforms for your networking needs. However, you still end up spending more time browsing Facebook or Twitter. As they say: “if you see something, say something”. If you see somebody active on social media who have similar interests as you – reach out to them. If one of your friends reposted someone’s useful article – definitely drop them a line. It is a great way to connect.
First, upraise their content, profile, article and let them know where you got it from. People spend time creating content and money to expand the audience so it will be very helpful to show them what works. In one line sum up what you do and how you can help. It is possible to connect that way, so use it. Not everyone will find your offer attractive, but if you don’t try you will never find out how many possibilities are out there. Instead of mindless scroll through the feed use it towards your advantage.
Hidden offline networking opportunities.
When you attend your planned networking event you put on your best suit and your friendly face and set your mind to networking. Why not do the same in your everyday life. Here is a super secret tip for an eternal success – talk to people!
Here is an example. Many businesses are bringing back physical mail as a marketing tool because in many cases it works better than emails. People get overloaded with emails, so they don’t open many of them anymore, but they get less mail and a nicely wrapped letter is more attractive to open.
The same psychology is applicable to real conversations. With the boost of technology, we stopped talking to each other. If you come across optimistic and friendly, chances are people would want to connect with you. Try it.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to start selling to every single stranger. Remember the goal of networking – find someone you can help, so use that as the main approach. Don’t be pushy. Feel the person and if he/she is not up for a talk, it is fine. The key is to be cheerful and open form the start.
Best places for finding networking business opportunities are airports and plains, restaurants, hotels and common commutes. Yes, I love using long Uber Pool rides to find out who am I in the car with. Talk to your neighbors on the flight or when sitting at the bar by yourself. You will not only have a great time but may potentially connect with a very interesting person.
Networking opportunities are all around, you just have to recognize them. What are your favorite unconventional ways to network? Have you successfully used any of the described ways?