Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that they couldn’t have achieved their level of success without their network. Because a successful company isn’t only about what you know, it’s also about who you know.
Growing your network as an entrepreneur can be daunting. Whether you are new to the business world, a bit shy, or struggle with imposter syndrome, it might seem easier to skip networking. But, as most successful entrepreneurs know, that’s not the case. Keep reading to find the best networking skills and strategies for entrepreneurs.
While it takes many skills to become a successful business owner, there are three skills that the best entrepreneurs have mastered: persistence, adaptability, and communication.
No matter what kind of business you are starting, there will be some difficulties along the way. It can be easy to lose momentum during difficult moments, but pushing through those challenging moments is the only way to gain success. Even the largest businesses in the world had their challenges, but their persistence helped them achieve greatness.
Without passion, persistence can feel impossible. As an entrepreneur, it is essential to feel passion for your product and its future. If you are struggling to maintain your persistence, take a moment to consider what made you so confident in this idea? What made you pursue it, and what drove you to this point?
Things change quickly, issues arise, and the best-laid plans never turn out as you expect. Being able to adapt to change is essential for entrepreneurs. Nothing is certain when starting your own company, so learning to manage a quickly changing environment is vital.
Good communication is essential for entrepreneurs. Good communication can determine the outcome, whether you are meeting with potential clients or investors or working with partners or employees. Strong interpersonal skills and good active listening skills are critical for forming good relationships.
Everyone has their own networking style, but there are a few key strategies that result in a better network. Learn these 11 skills to become a networking pro.
Before starting any project, you usually know the purpose, but people often jump into networking without considering their goals. Are you looking to grow your network by X number of people, do you need to find a new investor, is there a skill you want to learn, or do you have another goal? Finding an achievable goal is a great motivator, and you can use it to gauge your progress.
Where better to grow your network than at a networking event? Everyone in attendance is likely there for the same reason you are: to expand their network, so make sure you take advantage of these events. Use your digital business card to promote your brand, and you can even use NFC at events to make sharing business cards more memorable.
While building your personal network might be the goal, don’t forget about networking for your business. Learn how to business network to benefit your entire brand.
Social media is more than mindless scrolling—it’s a great place to engage with others and grow your network. Follow like-minded people, and engage with their content. Don’t just like and keep scrolling. Leave comments and be part of the conversation.
Networking takes confidence. You have to know how to sell yourself and your brand to others. Know who you are and what your worth is before heading into a networking conversation.
People usually avoid others who make negative comments. It brings the mood down, and people tend not to trust nay-sayers. So avoid negativity and instead focus on the positive.
Don’t get caught in a conversation with nothing to say. Have a few ice breaker questions on standby so you can always be ready to keep the conversation flowing.
Networking isn’t about the number of people in your contacts list. It’s about forming deeper connections with others. So don’t treat people as just another phone number in your contacts. Get to know them, learn their goals, find common ground, and show that you value their time.
When forming networking relationships, people want to know how you can help them. So know your value, and share it. For example, are you highly skilled in an unusual field, do you have a great network to connect them with? Your value might feel small if you are just starting your career, but it may be precisely what someone else is looking for.
What is a new connection worth if you never follow up? Be sure to follow up with new contacts frequently. We recommend reaching out at least once a quarter.
Networking isn’t just one event. It’s a long-term project. Not only should you continue following up, but you should also keep making new connections. Never stop networking.
Did you find this article helpful? Let us know!