W.M. Sims

Head designer for AT° Design Studio.

The Best Ways to Network in 2020

W.M. Sims

Head designer for AT° Design Studio.
1/13/2020

Networking is an essential part of working and growing your company's brand in this day and age.

Up until the last 10 years, networking involved going to events and meeting like-minded people to find new ways to get ahead in the business world. Into 2020 and beyond, it's evolved to include all sorts of different interactions, both online and offline.

Today, we're going to discuss the best ways to network in 2020. If you're not meeting new people through the following methods, you're missing out on huge opportunities to progress your business.

Networking is all about forging and developing beneficial relationships that make success in entrepreneurship easier to attain. This is how you do it.

How New Ways to Network Have Come About

B2B networking has always been done by attending industry events and meeting other business owners face-to-face. Now, we're able to do a lot of networking online as well.

Social media has become such an important tool for entrepreneurs to build their company brands and customer bases. It's also become hugely beneficial when it comes to this new form of networking. 

Things like Facebook groups, Instagram threads, and subreddits make it easy to network with other business owners. Those first impressions are so crucial and nerve-racking in old-school networking, but engaging people online makes it so much easier to make a good and lasting impression.

The Art of Networking

Whether you're doing it at a conference or on an industry-specific internet forum, there are certain methods that are going to make your networking efforts more effective. Merely showing up to an event or engaging a business representative online isn't going to help you. You have to have a plan.

Having Goals

It's important to have personal goals when you enter a networking situation. This will give you direction when you're discussing both your work and the other party's work. 

It might be to engage a new person every day online or attend a conference once per week. Setting small, attainable goals for yourself will help to push you out of your comfort zone until, one day, networking is effortless for you.

Listen and Be Yourself

When you're networking with a person or group of people, it's as important to listen to what they're saying as it is to talk about yourself. Show that you're listening by asking meaningful questions and hinting at how you (or your business) might be able to help. 

It's also important to be yourself and let the conversation flow naturally. You'll build more genuine connections if you leave the sales pitch at home and let your personality shine.

Research and Figuring out How You Can Help

After you've successfully networked with someone, it's crucial to follow up within the next few days and weeks to reiterate what a pleasure it was to have met them. If you were listening attentively, you might have already thought up ways to build your professional relationship.

If not, do some research afterward to figure out who they are, what they do, and how it all relates to you. This is where social media is an invaluable resource. There's a fountain of information, both personal and career-related, on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn that allow you to get to know someone. 

When you find out how you can help someone, you can start to make those long hours you spend networking count.

Start Networking to Get Ahead

While networking can make you feel awkward and anxious if you're not an outgoing personality, it has major payoffs for your business and career. Finding different ways to network will allow you to meet a varied group of people, some of which will help further your career and some of which won't, but it's important regardless.

Start networking today to build your social skills and become the entrepreneur you've always dreamed of being. To find more helpful resources that can help you be a better business owner, come back and visit us again at Addison Voice.