Most of us struggle with networking, especially those of us just starting a new business as an entrepreneur. Many questions jump to mind – what do I say? Who do I talk to? Should I hand out my business card? How do I build relationships and connections? How do I balance networking online vs offline? Among others.
The Edmonton Journal‘s Capital Ideas event this week highlighted business networking and how to do it right. I was unable to attend in person (the photo about is from 2 weeks ago (that’s me on the right!), but thanks to YouTube and Twitter, I felt like I was there.
The first video is shown below. Click here or here to view the rest of the playlist.
In addition to the YouTube videos and website, there was a very active Twitter community during the live event. Here are some of their tweets:
#capitalideas Personal vs online networking. The ability to have a live conversation is vital. Online is good for ongoing connections.
@PassionSher: #capitalideas Networking is more than what others can do for you but how you can help them & grow their biz. #capitalideas
@danprime: Twitter is a tool to help you engage. You need to learn how it works AND how the users are using it. #capitalideas
@chrismebs: Tip: Use the Cardmunch iPhone app to scan in cards to your contacts. #capitalideas
@ellie_sara: Networking is not the time to sell yourself, save for later! Use 1st mtgs to make a potential relationship! #capitalideas
@TheElaineWilson: 3 impt ways to use Twitter: Post links others might find intrstng. Reply -creates conversation. Mundane posts makes you human. #capitalideas
One of the important points that stuck out in my mind was to not walk into conversation looking to sell yourself. Certainly ask about what the other person does, but save the sales pitch for another time. Instead, identify concerns they are having and if you can help, but most of all, get to know them a bit. As the saying goes, people want to do business with people they know, like, and trust.